Pasión de Bobal 2009
6 months in brand new Frech oak (Allier)
The Wine Advocate (June 30, 2011), 91 points.
Steve Miles Selections
Lots of spicy and fragrant American oak barrel accents add to the complexity of this Bobal, a grape that can sometimes produce fairly simple wines. Alongside the oak’s vanilla bean and sawdust notes, the wine exhibits more than its usual overripe character; instead, raisin notes are accompanied by red cherries, dried raspberries, and slightly edgy tannins. Drink in the next several years.
Pasión is made out of Bobal grapes from more than 60-year-old vines, which are planted at 3,000 feet above sea level in the interior of the province of Valencia. The climate is continental but influenced by the Mediterranean. At the end of October, a manual harvest using small cases was followed by a selection of bunches at the reception in the winery. Long and very careful maceration at low temperature preceded the fermentation, also started at low temperature. The wine then went through malolactic fermentation in new French oak barriques and was aged in barrique for six to eight months.
About the Winery
Sierra Norte was founded in 1999 in Requena by two local families with a long tradition in grape growing and winemaking. Organic farming and the use of local grape varieties, including Bobal, are the two main characteristics that define this winery. Also keys to success of Sierra Norte are its state-of-the-art facilities, its winery-owned vineyards, and its extremely experienced team.