CASA ROJO FOCUSSING ON
MONOVARIETALS AND THEIR TERROIRS
Viewing the labels of the portfolio of wines made by Casa Rojo is akin to a visit to a contemporary art gallery. This innovative bodega, whose base is in Jumilla, but whose peripatetic winemaking spreads across the length and breath of Spain, is clearly very interested in design – and, of course, its impact on consumers.
With so many wines from which to choose the consumer can become baffled at times (unless she/he is a regular Cork Talk reader of course!), so marketing becomes imperative. There are several studies that have proven that labels sell wines, but as I’ve said before, the label design will sell one bottle – it’s what’s in the bottle that will determine whether the consumer returns for more!
Well the hip young team at Casa Rojo (www.casarojo.com) have it correct, from both angles! It’s clear that the design team are working harmoniously with the winemaking team – and it’s certainly a bodega to which I’ll be returning. These wines are top quality!
I also love their winemaking philosophy. It is their avowed intention to make wines that represent the different terroirs in which the vines grow, as well as the individual characteristics of the varieties used, for each of the monovarietal wines they craft.
I was recently sent three examples from their nine wine range and I’ve enjoyed them all.
If you’re going to make wines that are representative of what’s on offer in Spain – you really have to make at least one sparkler. And, given that the world’s year on year demand for fizz is incessantly increasing, it’s not a bad business idea either! Plus, if you can have an added dimension of interest, all the better.
Moltó Negre Cava Joven is made with Trepat, one of the lesser known varieties permitted by DO Cava. It’s a black grape, but used here to make a ‘white’ cava, termed on the Casa Rojo website as a ‘Blanc de Noir’. This is a style of which I’m very fond, and I certainly enjoyed this wine, which has everything required of a young cava – freshness and celebration, plus a little more depth than can often be found. The black grapes add raspberry and loganberry aromas and tastes. However, when seen in the glass I would describe it as more of a pale Provencal style rosado, than a ‘white’ sparkling wine. No matter – it was a lovely start!
Readers may remember that I’m quite an advocate of white wines from Galicia, made from the Godello variety. Although Godello is grown in several DOs in Spain’s North West, it’s DO Valdeorras that is considered by many to be its natural home.
Casa Rojo’s ‘The Orange Republic’ is a Godello monovarietal whose white stoned fruit aromas and flavours are ‘blended’ with a little jasmine fragrance as well as slight whiffs of fennel. The vineyards of DO Valdeorras have granite soils often strewn with both above and below surface slate. It’s a combination that adds a definite minerality to the finished wine, whose five months on its lees give a slight creaminess to both mouth-feel and flavour, contributing also to a lengthy finish! At just under 20€ it’s not cheap, but it is serious quality!
And from Casa Rojo’s actual home, DO Jumilla, comes an exemplary Monastrell wine which is big and bold, yet elegant too. Machoman Monastrell is an award winning wine which delights with its plum/damson fruit, laced with ripe strawberry notes, an earthiness, liquorice, some wild bay leaf and traces of dark chocolate! It has a mouth-filling roundness that one might at first think comes entirely from its 6 month in French oak.
However, when the wine is held on the palate for a while, there is something else there, a hard to define tribute to more ancient times! This wine has been fermented in 7,000 litre clay amphorae, specially made in Rome for casa Rojo, prior to its further development in oak. Outstanding!
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