the spanish aquisition

Celler del Roure – antique varieties from the best producer in DO Valencia

Introducing yet another A-grade producer to our collection of Spain's finest. After much study, we are proud to introduce you to the fruits of our focus on DO Valencia, down the Mediterranean coast, north of Alicante ...

• DO Valencia's finest producer
• Local Valencian varietals, unwooded and amphora-aged
• Custodian of autochthon varieties, Verdil blanco and Mandó tinto

A few years ago, Pablo and Paco Calatayud realised that their estate had the last hectare of a rare, near-extinct local variety, Mandó (in Catalan, or Mandot in Castilian). Once identified, the variety has since been saved and is now being replanted. The old vines are represented by Parotet (whose dark black label signifies the vine age and textural depth of the heritage material), and this is quite the bargain at $66 given its quality, rarity and delightful style – not to mention a damned good story!

Vermell 2012 is the first vintage from new plantings as the now-saved variety is re-planted on the Roure Estate. For now there is not enough young-vine Mandó to make a varietal wine, nor is it deep and structured enough to stand on its own. For the next few years, this exciting little wine will rest on the shoulders of Monastrell and Garnacha Tintorera (aka Alicante Bouchet) for volume and structure.

This is a ripper of a wine!

About ageing in clay jars: the Calatayuds found 100 old amphorae which had been on the property for 300 years, representing this region's historical usage of clay as a maturation vessel. These jars were abandoned after phylloxera and fell into disrepair during the dark 20th century. 20 of them have been lovingly restored and buried into the agglomerate soil of the cellar (no mean feat, as a near approximation to this soil is concrete mix!).

As well as the rescued history of Mandó represented by Parotet, and the recovered future of Mandó heralded by Vermell, there's also a lovely white called Cullerot, which is exactly the same process of rescue and recovery but here told by a local white grape, Verdil (currently being helped out for volume and structure by Chardonnay and PX).

All 3 wines are similarly made: simple fermentations in stainless steel, seeking to promote freshness and retain natural acidity, then gentle ageing underground in clay jars, which promotes textural openness and maturity without sacrificing any acidity.

They are delicious and beautifully crafted wines, and we recommend them very highly to you!


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