June 2024 Tinto Wine Club

La Comarcal
2019 Carmen

Regular Price: $28.99
Club Price: $24.64

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Note from the Spanish Table Wine Club Editors:  This time around, we found the writeup by importer DeMaison so compelling that we are reproducing it with minor modifications and a few comments at the end. 

"La Comarcal was built on the friendship formed by Javi and Victor while working together at the influential Valencian winery Celler del Roure for over ten years. They represent the new generation from Valencia focused on regenerative farming and exceptional quality while retaining the approachability and relaxed attitude of their laid-back Mediterranean region.

The two friends are constantly exploring their Valencian region, searching for unique plots of land with stories to tell. Their philosophy is to utilize the native farming methods of Valencia to deliver clear, expressive translations of their landscape and moments shared with good food and friends. They have a particular focus on replanting the correct indigenous grape varieties in the right vineyards. Due to the region’s past commercial activity, many international grape varieties were planted in the wrong places for quality. Victor and Javier work to understand each plot of land, replanting them with the native Valencian varieties best suited to the environment.

Javi Revert comes from a long line of Valencian winemakers, working with historic vineyards originally planted by his great grandfather. Victor Marqués has worked with several prestigious winemaking cooperatives over the years, in addition to his work at Celler del Roure. Both bring an incredible amount of experience, talent, and passion to their work in exalting the diversity of their native Valencian region. Their collaboration brings together their collective expertise and skills with a focus on bettering their region’s winemaking legacy.

Carmen is their limited, flagship red, produced with organically-farmed 50% Bobal and 50% Garnacha. The Bobal comes from Paraje Tolluelos, a two-hectare plot of bush-trained Bobal planted in 1965 at 650m and one hectare of garnacha, near the village of Venta del Moro. After a rigorous selection in the vineyard, each variety is hand-harvested separately. 50% of the grapes are destemmed, and 50% are fermented as full clusters with indigenous yeasts. Bunches are then pressed, and alcoholic and malolactic fermentations finish in a 1700L cement egg, followed by 12 months of aging in concrete and bottling.

'The wine is savory and Mediterranean in character with round, fine tannins and an elegant, powerful palate. Crisp red fruits and Mediterranean herbs make this an elegant wine that goes perfectly with traditional paella and grilled meats." 

As far as our commentary goes, tasting this wine produced a pretty immediate "#@*%& yeah!" reaction.  It has that special combination of juicy, full of body, fresh and drinkable that makes it what I would call a best-of-class example of a 'mediterranean red'.  Bobal makes for very drinkable wines, and Carmen makes this grape sing.  Have this with a glorious spread of mediterranean foods with garlic, herbs, olive oil, and a warm summer's eve.  If going to Spain, this is the perfect wine to prepare with, if not going the perfect wine to transport you there momentarily.  - BMS 

Conde De Hervias 2019 'Trinidad'

Regular Price: $41.99

Club Price: $35.69

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Note from the Spanish Table Wine Club Editors:  This time around, we found the writeup by importer DeMaison so compelling that we are reproducing it verbatim (in italics) with a few of our comments at the end. 

"If Conde de Hervías were produced in Bordeaux, it would be a highly-regarded garagiste operation.

It is incredible to think that wine was produced in their historic Las Arenillas vineyard when the left bank of Bordeaux was still marshland. Based in Rioja, the project remains one of the hidden gems of Spain, produced from one of the most important vineyards in Rioja. Íñigo forgoes traditional reliance on the press (and forget about social media), focusing instead on delivering a singular, classic experience to his customers, private collectors who covet each release. As such, he has managed to fly below the radar of casual observers and trend chasers.

The village wine and entry to the Conde de Hervías range is Trinidad del Conde de Hervías, an outstanding value. Trinidad is the expression of three different single-vineyards in the village of Torremontalbo, on three distinct soil types, all planted to the original, ancestral clone of tempranillo: Romero, on pure calcareous clay soil in 1978, while Llano Alto on ferrous calcareous clay with river rocks, was planted in 1958. Lastly, Trinidad contains a portion of the 1874 pre-phylloxera Las Arenillas vineyard, planted on sandy calcareous clay soil.

Traditional goblet (bush training) method is used in the vineyard, which helps preserve acidity and freshness in the wines and guards against heat damage. Trinidad del Conde de Hervías is produced from hand-picked, organically-farmed grapes. Native yeasts are utilized for alcoholic fermentation, bringing the character of the vineyard to the wines. Recently, he has been utilizing a method called integrated fermentation, where alcoholic and malolactic fermentations happen simultaneously, bringing great harmony to the wine. Finally, the aging process is never hurried; the estate releases small quantities of each wine only when the time is right for each one to express its personality."

We found this wine to be super rich, juicy, rewarding and a proper counterpoint to some of the lighter wines we have been featuring lately.  This is a classic red wine for the the celebration of summer dinners, paired with hearty fare, jamon, grilled meats, and good cheeses.  - BMS

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