2011 Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce "La Casilla" Manchuela (Previously $20)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 La Casilla is pure Bobal from Iniesta and sees 10 months maturation in used French 600-liter barrels. It is bestowed with a glorious bouquet of black currant leaf, iodine and dark cherry that has a beguiling sense of “animation.” The palate is packed full of crunchy black fruit. The tannins are firm and quite dry, yet it is perfectly entwined with the pure fruit that adopts a more red profile towards the almost Loire-like finish. This is another outstanding wine from Bodegas Ponce. Drink now-2018+ Readers will already be aware of my high regard for these wines, which offer exceptional value for money.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(aged for 10 months in large, older French oak barrels): Opaque purple. Dense, spicy aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate and licorice, with a hint of lavender in the background. Then concentrated and fleshy on the palate, offering bitter cherry and dark berry flavors and a suggestion of candied flowers. Finishes long and powerful, with lingering smokiness and supple tannins.
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.