Volver Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2008 – New Wave Spain

The new wave of spanish wine seems to divide the winelovers and bloggers around the world. Recently I noticed some quite a harsh critique of the new more fruitier styles of spanish wines in social media forums – but for me this critique seems more than a bit unfair.

I’m not claiming to be an expert on the spanish wine industry – but I have been tasting spanish wines for decades and I think that you could compare the situation in Spain today to where Italy was say some 15 years ago. All around the country there seems to be a lot of experimentation and old dogma is being questioned. “New” (at least for the consumers) districts and regions (think Priorat, Montsant and Bierzo to namne but a few) are putting out amazing wines and old favorites like Rioja are better than ever.

Yes it is still true that some of the big names, I am thinking foremost on Ribera del Duero and Toro, are not fulfilling ther potential to the fullest (and whatever happened to Navarra?). Yes there are excellent wines coming out of those districts too but not in the numbers we could expect.

La Mancha on the other hand is a district that you normally do not expect to perform well at all. Large and extremely hot and dry it was long just a center for uninteresting bulk wine production. But even that has changed over the last couple of decades with the likes of Marques de Griñon and Manuel Manzaneque setting the the standards with some truly amazing wines.

I haven’t come across Bodegas Volver earlier – but this Volver Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2008 shows great promise for that grape in the district. And it is also a good example of the more fruity non-oxidized style of the spanish new wave. The Bodega are owned by the enologist Rafael Cañizares and comprise 98 hectars in the eastern parts of the district were the topsoil is sand over large river stones, clay, iron and chalk.

The Volver vineyard, planted in 1957, is the source of the producers top Tempranillo. Low yields, high altitude (660 meters above sea level) with great daytime/nighttime temperature variations and the age of the vines forms the basis for what is going in to the bottle. The wine gets a long and slow fermentation/maceration and then spends 6 months in french oak.

The 2008 got a dark red and dense colour. The aromas loaded with red berries, mint, herbs and liqorice. I also find elements of cocoa and raspberry candy. The taste is medium bodied and fruitdriven with red berries (raspberries), herbs and cocoa powder with a long herbal finish. The tannins are well integrated and mellow. Drink now or over the next five years!

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