This month we look at six wines from DO Valencia and seven Champagnes from Taittinger.
DO Valencia covers the parts of the province not covered by DO Utiel-Requena and DO Cava. Alicante and Castellon have their own controlling bodies. It is split into a number of sub-zones which cover the area from Xativa to Font de la Figuera (Clariano), Calles to Alpuente (Alto Turia), Cheste to Lliria (Valentino) and around Montserrat, Turis and Chiva (Moscatel de Valencia). In this part of the article we look at wines from some of the cooperatives.
Cantalares Merseguera 2018, Bodegas El Vilar, DO Valencia, (Valentino) 12%ABV.
The town of Vilar Del Arzobispo is home to Bodegas El Vilar whose vineyards are in the Valentino. This wine comes from sandy and chalky soils between 500-900m above sea level. Fermented in stainless steel following maceration with the whole berry and of free run juice only. Pale yellow in colour with gold flashes. On the nose this has sweet/sour white fruit, white flowers and citrus pulp. In the mouth it is full of flavour, fragrant herbs, is fresh, balanced, distinct and invites a second taste.
Henri Marc Malvasia 2018, La Baronía de Turis,DO Valencia (Moscatel de Valencia) 12%ABV.
Although the bodega is in the Moscatel zone, it produces a whole range of wines from other varieties and this Malvasia is an example. Hand-picked grapes, whole berry maceration, fermentation in stainless steel. After this, it is aged in the bodega in bottle for a period. Bright straw colour with light steely tones. Clean. An interesting range of aromas which is typical of the variety, summer fruits, peach, spicy aromas, toasty notes, dried fruits (figs), nuts, vanilla and citrus notes. In the mouth, elegant, smooth, medium-bodied and well-balanced.
Juan de Juanes Vendimia Oro Chardonnay 2016, Bodega La Viña DO Valencia (Clariano) 12.5%ABV.
From La Viña in Font de la Figuera. This 100% Chardonnay is fermented in Allier oak. Pale yellow colour, clean and bright. On the nose, nuts and well-integrated oaky notes. In the mouth, complex and well-structured. Well-balanced between the aromas, wood and minerals.
‘Sí’ Garnacha Tintorera 2018, Bodegas Vinados Cent Piques, DO Valencia (Valentino) 14.5%ABV.
This wine is from pie franco vines, en vaso, and has undergone fermentation in stainless steel. We had tasted the must after pressing then the wine from deposit before bottling and have been looking forward to the final wine being released, which it will be just as soon as the back labels are released. Deep purple in colour, medium-bodied with long, slow, fat legs. Concentrated mature black fruits with a cover of fresh red fruits. Wild herbs, ‘garriga’, dark chocolate on an intense nose. Fresh, intense with good acidity on entry, full-bodied with black fruits, minerals from the chalky soils, a long fruity finish. This is young; it will round out with more time in bottle and will develop well.
Juan de Juanes Petit Verdot, 2017, Bodegas La Viña DO Valencia (Clariano) 13.5%ABV.
Petit Verdot is the variety, which is part of the ‘seasoning’ mix of Bordeaux. It has settled well in the Valencian Community where it produces full-bodied dry red wines of some character. Brilliant black cherry colour with violet tones. Long legs. Red and black fruits on the nose and a little banana, with graphite, toasty notes from the crianza in American oak. Fresh on entry with body and well-integrated tannins. Long finish in which the tannins become almost sweet.
Mistelanova Montserrat Vino de Licor de Moscatel, Coop Montserrat, DO Valencia (Moscatel de Valencia) 15.0%ABV.
This is a standard Mistela, grape juice stopped before fermentation and with natural residual sugars. This is lighter than some Mistelas and all the more pleasant for it. Old gold, slightly orange at the edge, clean and bright. Fresh and clean on the nose. Honeyed white stone fruit, yellow peach, orange flower, orange peel. In the mouth it is clean, fresh, dense, unctuous, with something herby, citric and has good acidity. Long finish.
Champagne Taittinger was the subject of a special tasting in Valencia and you can read more about it in our blog (vvidblog.com/) The wines are available from El Corte Inglés or on-line. Taittinger is one of the best houses in Champagne with extensive vineyards across the region, including Grands Crus.
Taittinger Champagne, Brut Reserve.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are blended in this 12% ABV champagne. Pale yellow, it is noted for its floral nose. Crisp citric notes and white flowers are evident in this elegant wine, perfect for an aperitif.
Taittinger Prestige Rosé Brut, 35% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier from Les Riceys and Montagne de Reims and 12% ABV. Rose to Strawberry in colour with fine persistent bubbles it has fresh aromas of raspberry, strawberry and cherry fruit. It is elegant in the mouth, finishing with chalky and mineral notes.
Taittinger ‘Folies de la Marquetteria’, predominantly Chardonnay (55%) with 45%Pinot Noir 12%ABV. Intense yellow in colour with fine persistent bubbles. Peach and apricot jam, patisserie, brioche and vanilla on the nose. In the mouth body, fruit, with yellow peach, long powerful finish with notes from the oak in which the free run juice is fermented.
Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Grands Crus Blanc de Blanc 2007. This is an exceptional Chardonnay made only in the very best years. The bubbles are light and abundant; it is pale yellow in colour. The nose is intense, abundant notes of cream, patisserie and richly aromatic. In the mouth the well-integrated bubbles lead to a tight, well-defined attack, the wine is full with a good balance, fruit, blood grapefruit. The finish is rich, long and complex with a delightful fresh aspect.
Taittinger Prelude is 50% each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This is made exclusively from Grands Cru vineyards and, following fermentation of the juice from the first pressing and 5 years en rima, provides a Champagne which is at once delicate and well-structured and for keeping. The balance between the minerality of the Chardonnay and expressivity of the Pinot Noir is exceptional. A Champagne full of complex and rich flavours.
Riki Wigley & Marian Daras
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.com/Vivideventos and in Twitter @vividvinos