BODEGA INIESTA

DO MANCHUELA & VdlT CASTILLA LA MANCHA

PART TWO

This fledgling bodega (please see last week’s article www.costa-news.com click Cork Talk), just 2 years old now, has recently launched its first wines onto the market. As you can imagine, with such a name behind the bodega, the wines have been heavily publicised in the Spanish Press, and I have to say, to considerable acclaim too. This, I believe is the first critique in the English language Press – so another scoop for the Costa News Group!

Head winemaker, Juanjo Muñoz, was most interested in the fact that an English Journalist, living in Spain and having a knowledge of Spanish wines and wine-making, was interested in visiting the bodega. However when I arrived he was noticeably distraught. Torn between two responsibilities, he had felt bound to go for the choice that really is his raison d’etre, a major wine-making decision, and postpone our meeting for a couple of hours – would I mind?

Of course I was happy to wait whilst he and his assistant went to the lab to decide on the final blend for the new red wine they are about to release, all varieties concerned having been deemed to be in perfect condition for blending that very morning! I couldn’t wait to taste his decision!

Juanjo and I got on like a barrel on fire and he was delighted that I showed such interest in sampling wines from the barrica and tank in their various stages of development. So much so that when I returned home I realised that in fact I hadn’t tasted any of  Bodega Iniesta’s current crop of wines that are on the market right now! No matter – a quick e-mail and the next day a courier arrived with 6 bottles!

Bodega Inestia’s philosophy is that wine should be priced in such a way as to enfranchise everybody – I’m sure this comes from Andrés Iniesta’s family’s agricultural village roots. Therefore all their wines have an excellent price/quality ratio – something for which we are all searching these days!

There are two levels of wine produced – the first, what might be called their ‘entry level’ wines go under the name of  ‘Corazón Loco’. There’s a white, a rosado, a red and a dessert wine. Their attractive labels with a heart motif were perfect for Valentine’s Day (remember this next year fellas!) with the dessert 50cl bottle even having a red scratch and sniff heart embossed on the front.

Their presentation is designed to attract the younger generation many of whom have  in recent years erred away from wine, to beer and spirits consumption. Corazón Loco wines are therefore fittingly vivacious, fresh and easy to drink. But don’t think that  this means inconsequentially light in flavour and pleasure.

Corazón Loco Tinto 2010 is a joven (young) wine made from a blend of varieties that could differ each year according to the harvest. It’s a super fruit-driven wine with a gentle feel but nevertheless quite long finish and sufficient body and depth of flavour to make it a wine to enjoy on its own and with food – particularly cheese, meat dishes and stews. It’s the best joven wine I’ve taste so far this year!

Their Rosado 2011 is made from Bobal, indigenous to the area and producing deeply coloured rosé wines. It has a light mouth-feel but it’s no lightweight in flavour terms – rounded raspberry and loganberry fruit with rose petal perfume. Check this out with Paella as Spring arrives on the Costas!

Corazón Loco Blanco 2011 is a made from favourite blend of mine – Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc. Typically fresh and vibrant with bold gooseberry notes the wine also delivers herby aromas, white flower perfume and a pleasing vegetal note with more exotic fruit in the mix too. The best young white of the year so far!

Bodega Iniesta’s flagship wines, produced under the auspices of DO Manchuela, have already made an impact on the DO and will, I’m certain soon start to see their opening high 80’s enter the 90+ Peñin points level and beyond.

Finca Carril 2010 Tinto is made from Tempranillo and Petit Veredot. Correspondingly dark in colour, the wine has a depth of flavour to match its very deep hues. Mature blackberry fruit with aromas of violet and the darkest of red roses blend with liquorice and mineral notes.

Finca de Carril Valeria 2011 Blanco is made with Chardonnay, fermented in French oak barrels with its lees for depth of flavour, elegance and structure, plus 25% Macabeo for fresh acidity and green apple flavours. Drinking very well now I think this wine could do with a few months more to integrate fully in bottle when it will come into it’s own and probably last a good 2 – 3 years.

From the same line their Macabeo 2010 Blanco is now fully developed in bottle. It’s full flavoured with green apple again, rounded and ample with some patisserie notes combined with fresh acidity. Big enough to last for several months yet.

Finally, a quick mention about the potential of all those super wines slowly fermenting and developing ready for the next bottling. It’s clear to me that Bodega Iniesta has entered the market at an already high level and it’s certain to continue improving and will soon consolidate a position as one of the leading lights of the Denominación de Origen and the Vino de la Tierra under whose banners it makes its wines!

colin@colinharknessonwine.com and www.colinharknessownine.com

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