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Details for Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce, Clos Lojen


CountrySpain
Region
Castilla - La Mancha
(click to find out more)
AppellationManchuela DO
Grape
Year2015
Producer
Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce
(click to find out more)
ABV13%


Castilla - La Mancha

More than half of all Spain’s grapes are grown in this large region, lying south and east of Madrid.  This has less to do with the land’s suitability for vines than its unsuitability for anything else.  Few other crops can survive the hot dry summers, long freezing winters and nutrient-poor soils.
 
Even among vines, only the hardiest varieties can withstand the arid conditions.  The white Airén, Spain’s most planted variety, dominates due to its drought tolerance, high yields and low maintenance needs.  Unfortunately it produces rather characterless and acidic wine, much of which gets distilled into Spanish brandy.  Traditionally it was also blended with black grapes like Tempranillo (known here as Cencibel) to produce pale reds, especially in the DOs of La Mancha and Valdepeñas, but this is now on the wane.
 
Throughout the region Airén has been replaced by black grapes, including international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, to such an extent that two-thirds of the wine produced for drinking (rather than distillation) is now red.  Valdepeñas in the south has become a reliable source of low-priced, juicy reds from Tempranillo and international varieties, while also containing pockets of excellence like Dominio de Valdepusa, the first estate in Spain to be awarded its own DO.
 
In the very far south-east, spanning the border into the Murcia region, the Jumilla DO has developed a repution for full-bodied reds from Monastrell (Mourvèdre), which makes up 85% of the vineyards here.
 
The huge La Mancha DO, with more vineyard area than Australia, continues to languish, though there are some signs of revival.  It’s not as big as it used to be, either. In 2000 its eastern portion became the new DO of Manchuela, in recognition of the distinct, limestone-rich soils and the different varieties (chiefly Bobal and Albilla) that are grown on them.
 


Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce

Juan Antonio Ponce founded the winery that bears his name in 2005. He was just 23, but already had five years experience as a qualified oenologist.  The grapes come from his family’s vineyards, and prior to that they had always been sold off to another producer.  Those vineyards lie in the Manchuela DO and are planted with old bush vines, largely of the black grape Bobal with a little white Albilla.
 
Juan farms them biodynamically, without irrigation or chemical treatments.  Most years he doesn’t even use sulphur on the vines, even though it is allowed under organic rules.  Natural winemaking is practised in the winery too, with only natural yeast fermentations, foot-treading, minimal use of sulphur dioxide and no fining or filtration.
 
Production is very small, at around 3500 cases per year.  There is one white, called Reto, and five reds, all from the local Bobal grape.
 

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