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2017 Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce "La Estrecha" Manchuela

SKU #1415591 97 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark This is a very striking, light red with intense, dark minerally accents, across blueberries and brambly cherries. The palate is impeccably rich and plush with strawberries and wild raspberries in abundance. The tannins float, all elegant ,long and silky. This is delicious. Drink now. Inner quote mark (7/2019)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The single-vineyard Bobal 2017 La Estrecha wants to show the most elegant side of Bobal, and they consider 2017 their most elegant vintage to date, balanced and fresh despite the lack of rain. The grapes—from vines planted more than 75 years ago on granite soils—fermented with full clusters in 4,500-liter oak vats and matured in 600-liter French oak barrels for 11 months. The difference between this and P.F. is there's less color, and I see elegance here, more finesse, with great freshness and moderate alcohol (it's 12.5% alcohol, when in earlier vintages it surpassed 14%...). The difference in color is amazing; this is a lot lighter than the P.F. There is a field blend that may represent up to 20% other grapes, even whites, that are all fermented together. This has to be one of the finest wines Ponce has produced to date. Bravo! (LG) Inner quote mark (3/2019)

K&L Notes

Bobal is the second most widely planted varietal in Spain yet for most wine drinkers it is relatively unknown. Juan Antonio Ponce is one of the most highly regarded winemaker advocate for this varietal. His home turf is Manchuela, located South and East of Madrid. He works biodynamically in his vineyards, and takes a non-intervention approach in the winery. His philosophy is to make natural wines with wild yeast fermentation, to respect the local varietal Bobal and to express its terroir. La Estrecha is a single vineyard of ungrafted vines, most of which is Bobal, planted in 1935 in calcareous clay soils.

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Price: $26.99
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By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/12/2019 | Send Email
It just happens that it is about 90 degrees in San Francisco today, and shockingly I do not deal with the heat well. Who cares? Right? But it worked out perfectly that we tasted this wine today. Bobal, and specifically Bobal made by Juan Antonio Ponce, could be the perfect summer red wine. Bobal, the thick-skinned, obscure varietal from Manchuela, is best known for its intensity: color, tannin and acid. My earliest introduction to the variety were wines that were ready to go toe-to-toe with any New World Syrah. And while those styles of wines are great for summer, too, my over-heating preference is for a lighter-bodied, higher-acid wine that could handle a slight chill, like Cru Beaujolais. This wine has a texture to it can I can only describe as silkiness. It has a cool silkiness that effortlessly, seamlessly gets drawn across your palate by its freshness. There are literally no edges, the tannin and acidity are there. This wine has substance and body but there are no edges. This wine does what you want Grand Cru wines do. All from a place that most people probably have not heard of. There is more to this than just texture, there are nice layers of bright and dark berries and fruits with a fine herbal dusting that comes out on the finish. This with a slight chill n a day like today would be amazing, it would be amazing with a chill in the dead of winter in the Arctic circle too--that's me wishing for the weather to change but I'm not wrong about that. This is an extraordinary wine. It is made from Biodynamically grown fruit and made with minimal intervention. We sell wines for twice this price from Beaujolais that can boast that and offer a similar, almost, experience as this.

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