Bodegas Ponce - Clos Lojen 2021
"Juan António Ponce told me 2021 is one of those vintages when you realize in wine you never know everything... He thinks the 2021 Clos Lojen is the most complete vintage ever for this wine, with unusual freshness (despite "normal" parameters like a pH of 3.7 and five grams of acidity) and 12% alcohol. It's intense and has varietal Bobal typicity with good weight. It fermented in 4,500-liter oak vats with 100% full clusters and indigenous yeasts and matured in 4,500-, 10,000- and 15,000-liter French oak vats for six months. This is sharp and austere, with lower alcohol and is more mineral than fruit-driven. Incredible value."
Ripe nose with warm, plummy dark cherry and blackberry fruit, and a hint of baked cherry pie. The palate is ripe and but with a pronounced savory, structured edge. Dense, mouth-filling and spicy with some drying tannins.
The under-the-radar grape Bobal happens to be the 3rd most planted red wine in Spain. Wines are loved for their fruity flavors, soft tannins, and velvety finish.
Juan Antonio Ponce stands alone as the leader of Manchuela and as the master of the Bobal grape. Manchuela, a lesser-known Spanish wine region that is inland from Valencia, specializes in the Bobal variety with its thick skins and rusticity. Bodegas Ponce is a pioneer when there are very few defenders of this region and even fewer winemakers that are dedicated to this varietal.
Juan Antonio Ponce began his Bodegas Ponce in 2005, at the age of 23. He works biodynamically in the vineyard, and in the winery he takes a natural approach, using low levels of sulfur dioxide. . The winemaking process begins with hand harvesting. The bunches of grapes are then chilled to 8 degrees C and fermented whole-bunch, with the stems, in a type of fermentation known as "remango", which was once popular in Rioja. Juan Antonio Ponce worked as the right-hand man to Telmo Rodriguez at Cia de Vinos Telmo Rodriguez for 5 years. During this time he was in charge of winemaking, vineyard management, etc. His father, who owned some land in Manchuela, decided to start this project with him.