Bocopa, the Petrer based bodega, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. 1987 was the year that saw several small bodegas in DO Alicante pool their resources to improve their marketing prospects and production techniques and volumes. The new bodega brought together some 8000 hectares of vines, mostly in the Vinalopó and La Marina Alta together with 1800 vineyard owners. Today the bodega is one of Alicantes reference bodegas, producing more than 60% of the wine from the DO. But, right from the outset, the vision was to create something more than a `super bodega´.
250 Million old pesetas were needed to build the bodega on 7000 M2 which commenced in 1999. This allowed more of the production to take place on one site as well as combining the offices, technical department, marketing and wine-tourism.
VÍ vid´s two primary aims are promoting the wines of the Valencian Community through tastings and assisting bodegas, their DO´s and others by teaching them the English language necessary to host groups of foreign tourists.
Bocopa is one of the bodegas with an awesome reputation for the quality of its wine tourism and its range of wines offered us an opportunity to taste and select wines for a future tasting.
Our association with the bodega began some three years ago and has continued progressively. We have regularly reported on presentations of their new wines over this period. We were welcomed by Víctor López ( Community Manager in the Communications department)and the tour commenced in the formal classroom style reception and tasting room. Víctor explained that Bocopa can tailor their visits to the needs of the visitors.
The visit starts with a welcoming introduction including the use of their current high quality promotional videos explaining the bodega and its philosophy, the vineyards, grape varieties and the wines they produce. Then the tour will move into the bodega itself with its 40 stainless steel tanks, the visitors by now wearing white coats and hair-nets for hygiene reasons. The bodega is spotless. Here depending on the level of knowledge or interest of the visitors the description of what happens there can be adjusted accordingly.
Víctor explained that they regularly receive International groups, some 40% of which are English, with Russian groups not far behind. They will also go away from the bodega and promote their wines directly through tastings.
In the bodega he explained the varieties that the bodega uses for its wines and the uses the distinct tanks were put too. For example whilst almost all the wines are started in Stainless steel deposits some are Isobaric tanks used to produce the bodegas sparkling wines , naturally fermented, using the Charmat method to produce lower alcohol wines.
Back inside we saw the barrel room and enjoyed a discussion on the different oaks and brands the bodegas use and the qualities they add to the wines. The bodega buys barrels from France, America and Hungary and we saw Taransaud, Torner, Murua, Magrenan, Kadar amongst others, each holding different wines or different blends such as the Monastrell/Syrah for the forthcoming Laudum Roble vintage.
In another area the Fondillon from 2014 was slowly developing in barrels from Herfé.
The barrel park has an experimental area, a micro-bodega if you like, where Hispanicus.a quest for wines which express the Mediterranean way of life, is developing.
Bocopa´s success is demonstrated by the large number of medals won in International Competitions….success which started with the first vintage of some wines including the Marina Alta first produced in 1992 which won a gold in the Bordeaux fair.
As ever the proof of the pudding is in the tasting and Víctor could not have been more helpful in making available wines for us.
We began with the Laudum Organic Chardonnay 2015, 13%ABV from grapes produced in nearby Sax. The wine is presented in the Bodegas exclusive column shaped bottle, itself a high quality product which has won an award!
Very pale yellow, clean, very bright. On the nose it is very expressive, fresh, floral and with tropical notes of citrus, ripe melon, papaya. The wine proceeds from ecologic vineyards and is a young style. With its year in bottle it has evolved very well since we tried it in Coopera and the Umbracle in Valencia. The wine is round with a good fresh acidity, a long dry finish expresses the saltiness of the soils in which the vines grow. In our view this would be a perfect match with seafood, shellfish and rice dishes.
We moved on to the Laudum Chardonnay Fermented in Barrel 2015 13%ABV. This wine starts its fermentation in stainless steel but is transferred to French oak ( Nevers and Allier) where it undergoes a couple of months crianza before bottling. This has a more golden colour and green flashes, is clean and bright. On the nose it is markedly more fruity, pineapple, peach, apple and is very elegant with subtle vanilla notes. In the mouth elegant, a hint of oak balanced, a little oily with an unctuous long fat finish. Similarly a match for seafood and stronger rice dishes.
We moved on to the reds, starting with Laudum Tinto Roble 2015 14%ABV. This is a blend of ecological wines from Monastrell ( 40 years of age ) and Syrah ( 15 years) It has four months crianza in French, American and Hungarian oak. The coupage takes place in barrica, not afterwards. Medium bodied cherry red colour with long strong legs. On the nose red cherry fruit, aromatic, balsamic, ripe fruit, figs, güindas and plums. In the mouth easy entry, rich and ripe but not too full. creamy with vanilla. Tobacco and mountain rosemary emerge as the wine evolves.
The bodega has a good reputation for its Espumantes, quality sparkling wines with a lower alcohol content and have added a fourth wine to the range. The Marina Espumante Brut 10º is a blend of Chardonnay 70% with 15% each of Macabeo and Merseguera. It has 15gms of residual sugar. Very pale in colour, clean bright and with well-developed small bubbles, persistent with a good mousse.In the mouth green apples, well-balanced with well-integrated bubbles. We will start our March tasting with this wine!
The Bodega´s best known wine is the Marina Alta 2016 Moscatel, 11%ABV which has accumulated 13 gold medals since 1992! On the nose apricots, ripe elderflower, fresh and very expressive. In the mouth we noted that it was rich, with ripe fruit, well-integrated acidity and some weight. It has a long fruity finish and would be excellent with seafood. This wine is kept in tanks and bottling is done every three months to preserve freshness. 1 million bottles are produced and sold annually!
Next we tasted the Laudum Reserve 2012, 13.5%ABV. This wine is darker with more body than the previous red. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Monastrell and Merlot with 12 months crianza in French and American new oak. On the nose this is very pleasant, ripe fruit, black, oak with balsamic notes more in the style of a good bordeaux or Rioja wine. In the mouth smooth tannins, well balance with fruit and spices. Very elegant . For serious red meat dishes and would benefit from decanting first.
Finally we tasted the new Dulce Negra Monastrell 15%ABV. This is a wine from vines with more than 60 years of age, only 600gms of grapes per vine, late picked when over ripe then finished in oak. Deep colour, very long slow legs. Black cherry with Aubergine hues. On the nose strawberry jam, but as it evolves quickly in glass dates, prunes, figs then fig cake. In the mouth jam, then incredible depth and complexity, Xmas spices, meaty, powerful. For Foie , old cheeses, or pure black chocolate. A total delight!
The tour ended with the Official photograph, a record of our visit. It remains to thank Víctor and Bocopa for an educational trip. Bocopa can be proud of its reputation not only for its wines but also its development and support for quality wines from local varieties and we recommend a visit if you can, wine tourism is alive, well and an excellent experience in Petrer!