First Seen in Costa News, Jan. 2011

BODEGAS PARCENT, DO ALICANTE

 It’s not often that one has the opportunity to be the first to taste a new wine before it goes onto the market. So when Armando and Nuria, brother and sister owners of Bodegas Parcent, invited me to do just that I accepted with alacrity!

 However it wasn’t just me who enjoyed such an honour as a group of other wine lovers gathered one late November morning for a bodega tour and then the tasting. Plus it wasn’t just the new wine that we enjoyed as in fact we tasted all but two of their whole portfolio!

 Bodegas Parcent is a modern wine making facility housed in a bucolic finca whose previous business was of pasa (raison) production and sales. Indeed, in the comfortably appointed intimate shop there hangs a picture of those times gone by where you can see that the original building is largely the same today as it was then, but with a very sympathetic refurbishment maintaining its character and ambience.

 In the 80’s Armando started to make wine, though not on a commercial basis, using just his wits, friends’ advice and family tradition. His first efforts were good and convinced him to study further. Winemaking qualifications followed and then a period of experimentation when vineyards were sourced, growing methods adapted and innovative winemaking skills were blended with traditional ways.

 Bodegas Parcent’s first commercial wines in 2002 were an instant success, their quality/price ratio was just right and to their delight Armando and Nuria sold out of all their wines. Nothing changes it seems as this is the case year in year out – and those of us who tasted that day will not be surprised when the 2010 vintage follows suit and quickly disappears.

 A tasting invariably goes better when the fist wine is a Cava. In this case it was even more apt as it was the limited production cava that was in fact the wine whose inauguration we were attending! This super Brut Nature Cava is made from Chardonnay, Macabeo and Moscatel making it a very eclectic sparkler where the aromatic Moscatel gains depth of flavour from the classic Champagne grape Chardonnay and balancing acidity from the Macabeo.

 Bodegas Parcent’s rosado was label-less as it had been bottled only a few days before. It had clearly had time to recover from bottle-shock (wines often suffer from a short down period after they have just been bottled and after a long journey in bottle) as the super fruit-laden aromas escaped from the bottle as soon as the cork was pulled.

 Their white Auro is a wine designed for those who still have a slightly sweet tooth – it’s not a sweet wine by any means but the 6 grams of residual sugar make it an off-dry style which many will really enjoy. Made from 50/50 Chardonnay and Moscatel this wine went down very well on a damp and grey morning!

 Bodegas Parcent’s recently bottled 100% Merlot, a new wine to the portfolio really is a very good wine. It’s a limited production wine, as are they all from this small bodega, and is guaranteed to sell out I’m certain. It’s drinking extremely well right now but because of the generous fruit content and after its oak ageing it also will develop over the next three -five years.

 Comtat de Parcent, Cabernet, Merlot and Gíro (Garnacha) Crianza is a wine that lingers on the palate after swallowing – a long finish is a mark of quality in wine. Older than the Merlot it’s perfect now but again has some further ageing capacity.

 Finally Dolç D’Art their super dessert wine made from 100% local Moscatel grapes loaded with raison and floral aromas coupled with a lick of citrus acidity and a long finish. A splendid way to finish dinner!

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