2008 Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce "La Casilla" Manchuela (Previously $20)
Produced from 100% bobal, a grape variety indigneous to the Manchuela D.O., west of Alicante, this wine is INTENSE. Dark plums and cherries, pits and all, show a distinctive aromatic pungency. On the palate, there is vivid, intense wild dark fruit; rich to be sure, but natural and balanced with good acid as well. To elaborate this wine, seven distinctive parcels of sand, clay and limestone soils were identified and vinified separately, whole cluster, with a minimal amount of SO2 added. This is a tough wine to place, but if I had to describe it with comparisons, think of the acid and structure of a great quality Morgon, perhaps with the warmth and riper fruit of a serious southern Rhone red. However you care to describe it, this is one of the most serious Spanish reds we have right now, clearly made from awesome fruit by a very talented vigneron.