Bodegas Utelanas, Utiel

Extreme contrast in temperatures make for great wines. Utiel is extreme in the extreme: Torrid Summers. Freezing Winters. Long seasons of relentless sunlight and high temperatures in the day followed by cool, windy nights. Utiel-Requena has been a viticultural center for over 2000 years for this very reason. The jewel in the crown here is Bobal (very probably the same as our beloved Tintillia in Molise, Italy), a dark, thick skinned variety that until recently was always over-cropped and used for color in blends but produces wines of real depth and power when yields are kept low on the ancient vines that cover the zona. The vines here are dry farmed on flat plains of brick red soil and are so twisted and gnarled that they look like miniature olive trees. As little as 200 GRAMS of fruit is produced by each vine but there are hundreds of hectares for the bodega to pick from so the wines are not as expensive as they sound…the are, in fact, absolute STEALS:

Castillo de Utiel Tinto Selección Bobal/Tempranillo 2009, Utiel-Requena

Castillo de Utiel Tinto Reserva 2002, Utiel-Requena

Meaty and Meatier, Deep and Deeper, these have been sensations in our Wine Bar.

 

That “Spanish Tinge”…

That’s what Jelly Roll Morton insisted was the crucial ingredient in good Jazz (and good Creole cookin’ too!). We’ve just acquired a small but intense selection of Spanish Reds that up the ante considerably in quality, value and packaging: Traditional Riojas have always been been favorites of discerning WINE EXPO-isti and we have seven wonderful bottlings for you but also selections from Ribera del Duero, several amazing “bang for the buck” reds from La Mancha, Penedes, Valencia, Catalunya and other far flung DOs plus some fun Cavas. Would a Chorizo and Walnut stuffed roast turkey be too weird for your next Thanksgiving dinner? Well, at least lay out some Jamon de Serrano and some nice olives for your arriving guests and watch the smiles erupt and the conversation take off.