Many people enjoy shopping in general for anything from cars to clothes to boats to shoes. And many enjoy shopping specifically for wine, beer or spirits. In fact, some folks could spend a very long time in a liquor store (hours even), looking, reading and asking questions before purchasing their beverage of choice. And it’s not different for myself. I like to shop as well, which explains why I own a shopping tour company! But when I shop for wine, I love to ask my favourite questions like: “What’s new?”, “What are YOUR favourites?”, “What’s super cool and different?”. But there is one favourite question I often ask, “surprise me, just pick something for me to try”. Of course by this point, I have explained that I study wine, I work in the industry (now), and I share what I am in the mood for, what I prefer in structure, what I’ve recently tried or even what I am willing to spend.
And that’s how I discovered this obscure red wine from Spain! Made from 100% Bobal. Not bobble, but bow-bal. I had recently finished studying about regions in Spain, and already a huge fan of the food and the wine there, with every paragraph I read, I was becoming even more intrigued to try anything from the country. So, when I asked at staff member at Kits Wine Cellar to “surprise me” with something really different – I drove home with this.
Pasion de Bobal 2010, from Vinos Sierra Norte, S.L. just west of Valencia (south of Barcelona) is made from 100% Bobal. It’s actually native to this area and is the 3rd most planted variety in Spain (I didn’t learn that in class). Typically it sprouts late and ripens late, which allows the little grapes to keep a good balance of acidity (so they say).
I have to admit, I was a little giddy at my first sniff and sip. I was hoping for this red wine to be juicy, with a bit of something to add a wee bit of excitement to my evening. And it did! Aromas of red berries, vanilla (6 mos. in French Oak will do it) savoury and earthiness. It followed through on the palate with more juiciness, dry herbs, really well-balanced with a bright acidity and soft smooth tannins. As I write this and sip again, I believe I’m getting a hint of coffee and smoke, it’s opening up nicely. All of that just rounds out a mouthful. It’s delicious, and I am a happy gal at this moment – because I’ve discovered something obscure…and I like it!
And it gained 91 points in 2009 and 89 points for the 2010 vintage according to the Wine Advocate and International Wine Cellar.
I know that this triumph will help me begin writing and sharing about all the great wines in Paso Robles, California. I recently attended a Wine Bloggers conference and I was introduced to some amazing wines, wineries, regions and winemakers. Until I get those posts finished, please – get out there and discover more of Spain and what it has to offer!
(Recently, I found this by the glass at Bambudda Restaurant in Gastown bambudda.ca)