My Sommelier Friend

A sample of blog post originally published on the My Sommelier Friend blog.

Bodegas Ponce Clos de Lojen Bobal Manchuela 2020

When you think of great Spanish red wines, Manchuela is not the first region that comes to mind, and Bobal is not the first grape. It’s not because the wines are not good, they are amazing. They are just exceedingly difficult to find. Currently not one Manchuela Bobal is available at any LCBO store in Ontario. But you are in luck—Bossanova on Roncy has one, and it’s sensational.

Manchuela is located in the abandoned hinterlands of central Spain. As the region’s youth flee to cities in search of employment, the villages are mostly populated by pensioners. Winemaker Juan Antonio Ponce is a Manchuela son who left home to learn his craft under one of Spain’s greatest winemakers. But in 2017 he returned to start his own winery on his family’s land.

Ponce practices low-intervention winemaking using only local organic and biodynamic grapes that are hand-harvested and whole-bunch fermented. In five short years Ponce’s skill as a winemaker has put Manchuela on the map as global wine connoisseurs seek out his wines.

With Clos de Lojen, expect a wine with lovely aromas and flavours of sweet cherries and strawberries, and a touch of pepper and dried herbs. Drink it like the Spanish—slightly chilled with tapas!

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