Since the Bodega opened its doors in 2002 the aim has always been to produce Ecological wines, respectful of the environment and varieties that they grow in the vineyards surrounding it.
Our relationship with the Bodega, one of the first to produce Cava in Requena began in 2010 with our first visit and blog (https://wp.me/p16pqB-3M). In those days Pago de Tharsys was almost unique in having a bodega tour, never mind that it could also be in the English language! The Bodega has always been at the forefront of developing enotourism as can be seen from a visit to their website.
VÍ Vid has followed these developments and we have reported on initiatives such as the introduction of the ‘Cocktail range’ (https://wp.me/p16pqB-xB) the ‘Night Harvest’ which wine-lovers could participate in (https://wp.me/p7dfvi-82), as well as new wine releases such as the Valencia City range.
The bodega introduced their first Ecologic wine (with the certificate on the back label) with the 2013 vintage of the Vendimia Nocturna and followed it in 2015 with three cavas -Cava Carlota Suria Brut Naturé, Brut and the Millésime 2015. The Merlot Crianza 2014, was released in 2018 named ‘Argila’. Now more wines sport the ‘ecologic’ label. Time does not allow regular visits to keep up as much as we would like and we rely on the wine fairs to keep abreast of new releases but yesterday we were privileged to attend an exclusive and comprehensive tasting at the bodega which has put much into perspective. Albertina Torres, from the Bodega´s Enotourism Department took us through many of the bodegas range of cavas and still wines.
We began with the Carlota Suria Brut Naturé, ecologic, a 100% Macabeo with 15 months ‘en rima’ and 12%ABV. This is pale yellow in colour, clean, bright with fine persistent bubbles and a good crown. Melon, green apple, citrus notes (grapefruit) and floral notes on the nose, in the mouth the cava is fresh and clean, between fruit and acidity there are notes of bread and this is a wine which will benefit from another year in bottle.
The Carlota Suria Brut organic is also Macabeo with 15 months en rima and 12%ABV. It has more colour than the Brut Naturé and is rounder, more floral and elegant on the nose. In the mouth it retains that roundness, is balanced and has a long elegant finish.
The Brut Garnacha Rosado with its terracotta label is from a family of wines which were quite ‘avant-garde’ when originally introduced. Garnacha is a naturally fruity and expressive variety and this is a ‘rebel’. With 18 months en rima and 11.5%ABV it it is a bright strawberry colour with long strings of fast rising fine bubbles, an expressive fruity nose with a mixture of cherry, sweets and other red fruit notes. In the mouth it has a lovely attack, excellent acidity balances the fruit and it has a long dry finish. We loved the slightly unruly character of this wine and have in mind a pairing with a good fiduea!
The Bodega has a strong reputation for the quality of its top cavas and we were not disappointed by the next four wines.
The Chardonnay Brut 2015 Millésime ecologic has 12%ABV and 24 months en rima.
Fine, persistent bubbles rise through a pale gold, clean and bright liquid and on pouring produces a good mousse. Floral on the nose initially (jasmine) it has a wonderful fruit mix of white stone fruit such as peach and apricot and notes of patisserie and confectioners cream.
In the mouth it is immediately elegant on entry, creamy with well-integrated bubbles and a good length. A cava with great finesse.
The Millésime 2015 Garnacha Rosé is 12%ABV but quite different to its younger brother we tasted earlier! By contrast this is a pale salmon colour, almost onion skin, clean, bright and with fine persistent bubbles rising to a rosary on the surface. With 24 months en rima it is very clean and fresh on the nose, there are ripe red fruit notes of berries such as red currant, raspberry and patisserie evident.
In the mouth the sensation is perfect, the fruit, alcohol, acidity and the bubbles are totally integrated, ending with a lovely slightly bitter note in a very long satisfying finish which fill the mouth. Extreme elegance.
We moved next to the Millésime 2016 biologic Chardonnay Brut Naturé which has two months in French oak before 16 months en rima.
This was the first wine with a deep golden colour, it has fine persistent bubbles and patisserie and light oak notes on the nose together with white flowers on a complex mix of fruit such as peach and apricots, and vanilla, cinnamon and hazelnuts.
In the mouth it is voluptuous on entry, fresher than you might expect from the nose, but has a long full finish with notes of honey.
The last of the Cavas we tasted was the 2014 Reserva Ecologico Millésime Chardonnay 70% and Macabeo. This has 38 months en rima.
Despite its greater age it is a pale yellow colour, clean, bright with fine persistent bubbles.
On the nose ripe fruit and a base of white flowers, pan de higo with almonds and patisserie.In the mouth this is beautifully fresh, has an attractive acidity, is very well-balanced and a long elegant finesse in the finish. To keep, this will develop its flavours in bottle.
The final sparkling wine was an espumoso, the Alegria which is a blend of Chardonnay with 14 months en rima and Bronx in the liquor d’ expedition. Pale yellow it has steadily rising fine bubbles and white flowers (jasmine) and ripe papaya on the nose.
In the mouth you note the Bronx, an American variety which the bodega grows for their Dulce, the grapes dried in the sun before the wine is made. It has a sweetness, is grapey with tropical notes and is a fun, dessert wine which would suit all tastes. As we mentioned before the bodega holds a raffle at harvest time to allow some of their clients and wine lovers to take part in a celebration of the vendimia. We have participated a couple of times, putting lamps on our heads and cutting the grapes before, or after a celebration supper!
The Vendemia Nocturna 2018 Albariño is 13%ABV.
This wine is a very pale yellow, clean and very bright with steely flashes. Very expressive on the nose it is fresh, floral with notes of elderflower. The only Valencian bodega to grow this variety the wine has an incredible attack, lovely acidity balanced by very round fruit, and great acidity. Very round, very long with white stone fruit in a wonderful finish! 9969 bottles only!
Released yesterday with the first bottle being opened for our tasting was the Vendimia Nocturna Rosado Garnacha with 12.5%ABV. (3333 bottles).
This is a very pale rose colour and in common with red varieties need a little longer in bottle to show its best. As it evolved it started to show cherry fruit and in the mouth this was the predominant fruit balanced with a nice acidity and a long finish. This will be a cracker come the summer!
Although the bodega is better known for its cavas they produce a full range of quality white and red wines as well.
The Carlota Suria Chardonnay, Fermentado en Barrica 2018 has 12.5%ABV.
Chardonnay does not need much oak here in Valencia and this has just 2 months with the wine being worked on the lees. It is very pale gold in colour is clean and bright with long legs. On the nose it takes a little while to evolve and has elegant oaky notes of vanilla over tropical fruit. In the mouth it is equally elegant, creamy, velvety with a super long finish.
The Argila Merlot has 12 months in crianza and then a long bottle ageing. There were just 4105 bottles. Medium bodied with a plum colour and long slow glycerinous legs. On the nose ripe plum and damson fruits, sweet and with hints of clay soils on the nose. (Agilar is the Valencian for Clay) In the mouth this is super rich with very ripe fruit, deep and plummy but with a noticeable element of minerality and slight saltiness from the soils. Elegant with finesse and a dry long finish.
We finished our tasting with Nuestro Bobal, 2015 and 13.5%ABV, This is medium to full-bodied with a slight hint of colour t the edge. On the nose tobacco leaf and licorice, this is a creamy but dry style of Bobal with a long finish.
This was a very educative tasting allowing us to see the style of wines in a fuller context and as such a rare opportunity and is aimed at our next magazine article for the March edition of Valencia 24/7. Our very sincere thanks go to Ana Suria and to Albertina for facilitating a tasting which contained a lot of discussion.
We have no hesitation in recommending the wines of this emblematic bodega which gives very good visits with tasting opportunities, the wines are readily available through different outlets in Valencia and there is an on-line shop as well as availability at the bodega.