Bobal wine grape

The little-known Bobal is in fact the second most planted black grape in Spain, covering 8% of the vineyard area.  Its heartland is in the central eastern zone inland from Valencia, in the DOs Utiel-Requena and Manchuela.
Bobal is ideally suited to the harsh continental climate there on Spain’s central plateau.  It is very tolerant of heat and drought, managing to produce large bunches of big berries even in those arid conditions.  Furthermore, those berries retain good acidity while developing only modest sugar (and hence alcohol) levels.  At the other end of the growing season, its late budding allows it to escape frost damage at the end of the hard winters.
Its thick, drought-resistant skins produce very deeply-coloured but also rather tannic wine, a trait exacerbated by its tendency to ripen unevenly.  Much of it gets made into rosé which benefits from its good colour and acidity while the short maceration times limit the extraction of tannins.
Long regarded as a workhorse grape for producing bulk wine, a growing band of smaller producers are now producing exciting wines from Bobal, showcasing its dark berry fruit and floral aromas.

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