First, an explanation of the words on the label. Bobal is the grape variety, Manchuela the region in Spain that gives its name to the Denominación de Origen, Cien y Pico is the producer, and En Vaso the name of the wine. En Vaso actually refers to a vine pruning technique, but you’ll have to ask the Cien y Pico marketing people what the exclamation marks and ellipsis signify.
I discovered Cien y Pico En Vaso on the shelves of D Byrne in Clitheroe, and grabbed a bottle because I wanted to learn more about Bobal. My interest in the grape had been piqued a few years ago by Zev Robinson’s documentary La Bobal y otras historias del vino, recently reworked as La Bobal Revisited, but you do not see a lot of it around in the UK. I enjoyed the first bottle so much that I ordered another half case, from Byrne’s again as their price of £9.60 seems to be the best in the country. Now, after three bottles, I feel I at least understand this particular wine quite well.
As with my last post, about Paparuda Pinot Noir, I am strongly recommending this wine, but again it comes with a caveat because I don’t think it will suit everyone. It is a very different wine to the Pinot Noir, so if that does not appeal this one might. Here’s the tasting note…
Intense ruby red with hints of purple. Intense nose, with lots of interesting stuff going on, to the extent that my notes I keep differ quite a bit. Take your pick: treacly, farmyard, and maybe some smoke from one bottle, or volatile, slightly vegetal, and dark fruit from another. But on both occasions I had a heavy, rustic wine, quite possibly technically faulty, but nevertheless attractive. On the palate, high acidity, and big but nicely structured tannins. Intense ripe dark fruit, but in the presence of the acidity and tannin it has a good refreshing character. Hints of cocoa and orange on one bottle. Excellent length. This is a brute of a wine – big on everything except elegance and subtlety. Good for drinking now with a big juicy steak or chili con carne, but I imagine it will improve with time *****