San Isidro



 BULLAS DO LOGO vino-do-murcia-bullas

I taste wines all the time. If it’s not every day it will be thirteen in a fortnight. Unlucky for some? Well, no, I’m happy in my work! Wouldn’t you be?


However it’s not quite that simple – notice that I used the word ‘taste’, not ‘drink’. There’s a big difference. Please don’t misunderstand me – I drink wine too, but only from the second glass onwards. The first glass, which of course is never full (regular readers will know that a wine glass should never be more than a third full) is for tasting.


Wine tasting is of course a major part of wine appreciation and there’s an important technique for tasting. Those readers who’ve attended any of my tastings will have heard me talk about various parts of the technique: the sniff and swirl; vaporising the wine; the olfactory passage; etc.


My first glass of any wine, whether I’m officially tasting, perhaps as a panel member judging, or at home in preparation for a Cork Talk article, or when we are out in a restaurant or at friends’, is always taken seriously. If I’ve tasted the wine before, is it the same as the last vintage, or if it’s the same vintage tasted some months/years later, has it developed in bottle since the last time?


If it’s the first time I’ve tried the wine, what do I detect on the nose and the palate from the first sip? How do those aromas and tastes evolve over the time it takes me to finish the glass? And, if it’s in a restaurant, or perhaps over dinner at home, how different, if at all, is the second glass?


Yes, I can see that I could be a complete nightmare when dining in company! And then when I start to ask others their opinions too – well it may just be too much! And so it is sometimes when Claire and I have dinner!


I’m often waiting impatiently for Claire to comment on the wine I’ve just poured her to accompany (and hopefully improve immeasurably) the meal I’ve just made us! Sometimes her comments just aren’t forthcoming and when probed, the answer comes back that she’s just not in the right mood to dissect the wine – after a hard day she just wants to drink it!


Easy, uncomplicated, pleasant drinking is what a lot of us are after much of the time – and if this applies to you, you may like to try the wines of Bodega San Isidro, DO Bullas.


Although dating from the 19th Century Bodegas San Isidro is now a co-operative, founded in 1950. There are two hundred growers who are member/owners whose holdings total 450 hectares of vineyard. Grapes are therefore sourced from all over the DO Bullas bringing with them the various different characteristics that the consequent variety of vineyard: altitude, aspect to the sun, micro-climate, soil make-up – terroir, impart. All this will impact on the wine, of course, but the Cepas del Zorro (Fox!) is not about close inspection, dissection complexity. Remember we’re talking uncomplicated easy drinking wines here!


The favoured white wine grape variety of Bullas is Macabeo. Known as Viura in other areas of production, La Rioja for example, this variety is one of the triumvirate of traditional grapes that are used to make Cava. Often described as having green apple notes, wines using Macabeo can be quite full, always refreshing with keen, but when handled correctly, no overstated acidity.


Such is Bodega San Isidro Cepas del Zorro Blanco Macabeo 2012. I’m sure that this wine will be available in most of the bars of the area and hotels too as a tasty, uncomplicated white house wine. I enjoyed its freshness as an aperitif but it will also suit green salads and fish dishes, of course.


In the same range their Rosado 2012 is made with Monastrell (to my mind and palate, this is one of the best varieties in Spain) and Garnacha (in fact the most grown variety in the country). The two complement each other – I liked this wine the best of the three samples I was sent.


There’s a typical raspberry nose with a slight red rose petal aroma too. On the palate there are soft red fruits, a lick of acidity and just a slight touch of bitterness on the finish making the wine a good match for paella.


Cepas del Zorro Tinto 2012 is a joven (young) red which is now about a year old. It’s made with Monastrell again, but this time supported by Syrah. It’s light in the mouth with a touch of Syrah spice (I suspect that vineyard supplying these grapes are around 700 – 800 metres above sea level, in other words approaching the highest in the DO).


It’s an easy drinking red wine which still has another year and is one of those wines that needs no discussion – just drink and enjoy!

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