Bodegas Vicente Gandía was founded well over 100 years ago. Then, their main interest was exporting wines from their premises in the ‘Grao’ in Valencia, founded during the golden age of the railway when transporting wines from Utiel-Requena and elsewhere took off.
More lately, they moved a lot of their operations to the giant plant outside Chiva and bought the Finca Hoya de Cadenas in Utiel-Requena in La Comunidad Valenciana. With its 325 Hectares of vines, this is where the wine-making takes place and storage is held. The old Finca itself, along with the museum and art centre, is also where their wine-tourism is also centred. The bodega has an illustrious past, much of which can be read about on the website:www.vicentegandia.es
Vicente Gandía have been leaders in developing Valencian wines and exporting them around the world, currently to some 85 countries.
They were pioneers in Valencia in bottling wines and Castillo de Lliria, their emblematic range was the first to be bottled and exported early in the 1970s. They were the first to create wine-tourism in Valencia. Today, a visit to ‘Hoya de Cadenas’ with its passenger train between the bodega and shop and the Finca is well worth the effort.
In the last two years, there has been a change of Technical Director with Pepe Hidalgo (formerly technical director of UVÉ) taking over and this has led to a new range of wines being introduced.
As always, we will concentrate on these new wines and leave you to explore the bodega in your own time!
Avento 2019 is a white wine, a blend of two of Valencia’s varieties… Moscatel and Malvasia. Yellow in colour with steely flashes. It is the Malvasia with its aromatic notes, which predominates in this wine. It has strong white flowers and is perfumed with Marshmallow and Honeysuckle. Tropical fruit notes come from the Moscatel and peach and apricot but these are lesser. Expressive and fruity on entry, it has additional notes of citrus, lime and a little fennel in the background. It has a long finish. An attractive wine, this makes a good aperitif and comes in a tall blue bottle.
The El Miracle range is not new but three new wines have been added to it.
El Miracle No3 is a blend of four white Valencian varieties all beginning with ‘M’, Merseguera, Macabeo, Malvasia and Moscatel. It comes in a clear bottle… with fine ridges aimed at making the wine appear iridescent in the right light.
Pale straw in colour with green flashes, clean and bright. The wine needs a little aeration when first opened (swirl the glass and allow it develop). You will be repaid with a veritable plethora of white flowers and tropical fruit notes (guava, peach, apricot and melon). On entry it is a very approachable wine, a good balance between the fruit and acidity and with a long finish. Another interesting aperitif wine.
Bobal Blanco 2019 is a most unusual wine. It is a ‘Blanc de Noirs’, a white wine made from the red Bobal variety. There is a mutation of Red Bobal which produces white grapes but this is not from that. We believe this is the only still white Bobal currently being marketed.
Around 45% of the juice is pressed with the skins, which are then left together for three days. It produces a very light red tint to the colour of the wine, which resembles ‘Rose gold’. The wine is then fermented in French oak. When we first tasted this wine in April it was very closed but it has developed very nicely over the last 4-5 months. Clean and bright there are wild fruits of the forest on the nose, strawberry, with white flowers and some green apple notes. That apple hint is carried forward into the acidity in the mouth, the fruit, alcohol and acidity are well-integrated and it has a long finish with that wood strawberry in the aftertaste. We think this wine (coming from red grapes) will develop slowly and over some time and is worth buying now to drink in future years. We have no doubt it has the structure to age well.
El Miracle No5 Rosado is also from Bobal. Also presented in the ridged bottle this is 100% Bobal with a pale modern rose colour and violet hints especially at the edge. This is much less than the classic full-on Bobal rosado. It has an elegance from its restraint. Strawberry and other summer red fruits, a very nice fresh acidity in the mouth and a long finish with just a hint of a lift from the residual sugar.
By contrast the No1 El Miracle Bobal Cabernet/Sauvignon 2018 blend, which is very traditional in Utiel-Requena. It is presented in a black Bordeaux bottle also with the ridges and a black and gold label, which is really quite stylish. Intense red colour, with violet notes and strong legs… it appears young. On the nose it has expressive mature red fruits, plum, and caramel notes. It is well-structured in the mouth, smooth tannins, a juicy and fruity acidity and nice oaky notes. A wine to share with friends on its own or it would match well with Ibéricos.
Last, but far from least is the Bobal Negro 2018, presented in the same dumpy bottle as the Bobal Blanco and carrying the Pepe Hidalgo Signature. Bobal is the major grape variety of the Utiel-Requena area, grown right across it from 650m above sea-level to nearly 1000m.
Those vines on the higher slopes produce grapes with thicker skins and thus potential for more colour, tannin and resveratrol. These are from the highest part of the plateau with 40 years age. The grapes are macerated whole for four days before fermentation which accentuates the extraction of colour etc. The second fermentation takes place in oak (for half the wine) and then a crianza for 12 months in lightly toasted oak. Intense deep black cherry, strong dense legs. Floral on the nose, with lightly smoky notes from the wood. Round in the mouth, very long and lots of oaky notes.
We shared these wines with our Pedralba tasting group. The general opinion was that these are welcome additions to the Gandia range with all the wines showing good character. They are all widely available in Supermarkets and wine shops.
Riki Wigley and Marian Darás
VÍ Vid is a project supporting the development of wine knowledge and gastronomy in the Valencian Community. We run wine clubs, give tastings of Valencian wines in English and support wine-makers and bodegas directly. We can be found in Instagram (Vivid8402), and through our blog VÍ Vid at https://vvidblog.wordpress.com, in Facebook, (https://www.facebook.comVivideventos) and in Twitter @vividvinos