BODEGAS HISPANO SUIZAS
DO UTIEL-REQUENA & DO CAVA
When asked for a sample of their high scoring 100% Bobal red wine, Bobos, Bodegas Hispano Suizas replied that they were happy to also send other wines – and I’m not surprised, they can’t be anything other than delighted with their efforts. These elite wines are outstanding and I’d love to try their full portfolio – given the chance, hint, hint!
Located in the Utiel/Requena area, their still wines are made under the auspices of DO Utiel-Requena, but an added advantage here is that this area is also one of the official cava-making zones of Spain. (As many will know, the DO Cava is one of the very few that is not restricted to just one geographical area).
Bodegas Hispano Suizas’ Cavas are up there with the best from Cataluña and anywhere else where Spain’s coveted answer to Champagne is crafted.
Tantum Ergo Brut Nature is in fact made with the Champagne grapes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and it bubbles, rather than oozes, sheer class! It’s no wonder, as the wine at every stage is handled with kid gloves with a view to producing the best possible cava.
Grapes from the perfectly sited vineyard are harvested only in the early hours of the morning. The Chardonnay grapes are macerated at -10ºC for twenty-four hours and then gently pressed. Gravity ensures that the pulp drops to the bottom of the stainless steel deposits and then only the clear must is bled off and into the 400 litre American oak barrels where it ferments, and is then left on its lees.
On arrival at the bodega the Pinot Noir is very gently pressed to ensure that it’s just the juice and not the colour that is extracted. It then is also fermented in oak with its lees.
The blend is made and the still wine is bottled with the addition of the yeast for the 2nd fermentation to produce those wonderful, fine bubbles. The wine and lees remain together deep in the cellars for another 22 months until manual disgorgement.
Typical, pleasing sparkling-wine patisserie notes are aided and abetted by faint white flower aromas, a slight vanilla note with a creamy mouthfeel and long finish. Elegance plus depth. Excellent!
Tantum Ergo Pinot Noir is their rosado cava – and it is similarly super, and gentlemen you must make a not of this for next Valentines Day, you’ll be onto a winner for sure!
This elegant, beautifully coloured sparkler is the personification of finesse – if you are thinking of proposing, do it with this! And, while you’ll both enjoy the romance, you’ll enjoy the wine too – everyone’s a winner!
Tantum Ergo Pinot Noir Brut Nature Rosé is made with 100% Pinot coming from low yielding vines. Once the early morning harvest is completed the grapes are swiftly taken to the bodega where they are again kept at -10ºC. The grapes undergo a two hour maceration period where flavours and some, but not too much, colour are extracted. Fermentation occurs in new American oak and the wine is then left with its lees for further development and, ultimately, a certain creaminess in the finished product.
The second fermentation occurs in bottle with the addition of yeast, but no sugar, remember this is Brut Nature, the driest style of sparkling wine. After 15 months’ resting on its lees, disgorgement is again performed by hand – and the cava is ready for the market. However – don’t hang about, cavas of this class sell quickly!
Raspberry and loganberry notes with some toasty vanilla and, despite its elegance, a good depth of flavour and some power too. By all means drink this as an aperitif, as such it’s excellent, but consider it to also be a food wine. Fish in sauces, light meats, rice dishes – it’s a winner!
Bassus Premium is a rich red, speaking of ripe Bobal, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah grapes picked at their optimum ripeness, as well as of the soils in which the old vines grow. There’s an abundance of juicy blackberry and dark cherry fruit with black pepper spice, some bay leaf aromas, vanilla and faint coffee, all kept together with a keen acidity and maturing tannins. It’s one heck of mouthful!
After cold storage, again at -10ºC the grapes are placed in topless American Oak Barrels which have a stainless steel radiator inside to keep the four day maceration at the required 8ºC.
Everyday the ‘sombrero’, the cap of grape skins, is manually submerged for greater extraction and once fermentation begins the temperature is allowed to naturally reach perhaps 26ºC. The grapes are then gently pressed to finish fermentation and once fully fermented the resulting richly coloured and highly flavoured wine is then aged for a further 20 months in American and French oak. You’ll love it!
And that Bobus, the 100% Bobal? Well it will figure strongly soon in my forthcoming discourse on the Bobal variety – don’t miss it, or the wine!