D.O. Utiel-Requena

The D.O Utiel-Requena has in recent years made real progress in forming its own identity, promoting the use of the red Bobal grape variety, not only because of the vast area it covers, but also because of its oenological potential, with many wineries and producers making great strides in the development and cultivation of this variety. As a result of this hard work, the region is now producing wines with extraodinary organoleptic qualities that perfectly transmit the character and personality of the terroir of the Utiel-Requena region. 

Viticulture in the region dates back over 2,000 years, with many achaelogical findings in several Iberian settlements in the region, with production never really disappearing from the region.  In fact, even though the Chrisitianization of the wine acquired a holy character, and although there were banks on consumption during Muslim occupation, Hispanic Muslims will produced and consumed wines.


The vineyards of Utiel-Requena escaped the devastating effects of the phylloxera virus because they were planted with the Bobal grape variety, which is more resistant to it than other varieties. This gave producers the chance to replace their vines by grafting varietals onto New World rootstock. In 1847, communications with the port of Valencia were improved and in 1887 a railway line connected Utiel with Valencia. The railway led to the formation of neighbourhoods of wineries around the stations opened, in Requena, San Antonio and Uriel, which supplied a large volume of wines and bulk reds, to customers who came through the nearby port of Valencia; it was a time when the region was home to ´doble pasta’ wines.


To produce this type of wine, grape juice for pink wine is removed from the juice of red grapes within a few hours. By withdrawing a portion of the fermenting must for about two days and filling of the fermenter with crushed grapes is the ratio of flesh to the must as it were doubled (doble pasta, doubling the mass). The result is a very concentrated wine, with intense colours, and often used to strengthen wines from other latitudes. This explains why Utiel-Requena was known in the past only for its pink wines. 


Unfortunately, this lucrative business using the Bobal variety meant that the the real potential was not investigated or looked into. This hándicap is not helped by the fact that in the plateau of Valencia early autumn frosts can occur, which means winegrowers who place quantity over quality tend to harvest their grapes prematurely through fear of potential weather damage. The grapes that are harvested prematurely produce wines that contain few tannins and that have little body, which means that they do not favor ageing in barrels. Today however, there are many winegrowers who carry out the harvest by ear, as well as blending this variety with other grapes such as Tempranillo or Cabernet Sauvignon, which produces fantastic wines, since the Bobal variety develops exquisite scents of black berries and elderberries. The truth is that today Utiel-Requena has the potential to surprise us with good quality wines every day.


The DO Utiel-Requena was officially approved in 1957 and is situated in the central eastern part of Spain, in the western end of the province of Valencia, bordering the community of Castilla-La Mancha. The area is named after two small towns which are 15km apart, Utiel and Requena, which form the centre of the DO.

The DO Utiel-Requena is home to 34,061 hectares of vineyards, 5,556 winegrowers, and around 94 registered wineries, 51 of which are bottlers. The DO also spans across nine municipalities: Caudete, Camporrobles, Fuenterrobles, Requena, Siete Aguas, Sinarcas, Utiel, Venta del Moro and Villaegordo del Cabriel. The vineyards under the DO Utiel Requena, also known as the Territory Bobel, is included in the list of UNESCO heritage sites, a recognition of the 27 centuries of viticulture that has taken place in the region.

The local area is home to some of the oldest archaeological evidence (such as the Yacimiento de las Pilillas from the VII century BC) in all of Europe, where wine production has been maintained without interruption until the twenty-first century. These two attributes: age continuity, both confirmed by numerous studies and research, have resulted in a region that is unique geographically and culturally, which, which has as its symbol and ultimate expression of its evolution to the native variety Bobal, whose international recognition has intensified in recent years. In this context, the territory has an "outstanding universal character".


Climate, Soils and Varieties.


The DO Utiel-Requena is home to a continental climate, and is perhaps the most severe of all the Spanish grape growing regions. Frosts and hailstones are frequent in winter and drought common in summer.


The vineyards in the region are situated at an average altitude of 800 metres, between two rivers that run through the area, the Turia and Cabriel, on a fairly gentle terrain, with the vineyards located on slightly pronounced slopes. The soils are dark in colour, with high calcium contents, healthy and permeable while poor in organic matter.

As for varieties, the main variety of region is the red Bobal variety, which accounts for over 80% of the vineyards in the DO, followed by Tempranillo (12%), Grenache, Garnacha Tintorera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. As for the white grape varieties, which account for only 5.73% of the vineyards, the region is home to Tardana (also known as Planta Nova), which is native to the region, followed by Macabeo and Merseguera, as well as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Parellada, Verdejo and Moscatel.


 


Wines and Wineries from the DO Utiel Requena.


Wine from the DO Utiel Requena is often associated with the Bobal variety. So much so that the Regulatory Council even has two sub classifications for wines made with the variety,


Bobal Alta Expresión. This is used for varietal Bobal wines, with or without ageing, made with grapes taken from vines that are at least 35 years old, which has yields lower than 4,000kg/ha, and are not allowed to be diluted without the consent of the Regulatory Council.


Bobal with special mention, for rosés, reds that are made exclusively with the Bobal variety, and can come under the following classifications: “crianza”, “reserva”, “gran reserva”, “superior”, “vendimia inicial”, “madurado en barrica”, and with the mention of “Utiel-Requena”.


One of the most important wineries in the region is the Bodegas Vicente Gandia, one of the leading wineries in Spain and the first in Valencia to boast trade relations 85 countries accross the 5 continents. The winery is located in the Finca Hoya de Cadenas, on the slopes of the Sierra de la Bicuerca, and spans accross over 200 hectares of vineyards. It produces a good collection of wines, including their red wine Generación 1 Grandes Añadas, a blend of Bobal (70%), Cabernet (15%), Shiraz (15%), which is produced only during exceptional vintages. The wine is a hommage to Vicente Gandía, founder of the winery. Another red wine worth mentioning by the winery is Ceremonia, an exquisite combination of the two grape varieties Tempranillo and Cabernet, along with the native variety Bobal. Another of their star wines is the BO “Bobal Único”, which manages to capture the essence of their Bobal vineyards. The winery is produced from the best 125 selected barrels, commemorating the 125th anniversary of the winery.


Then there is the Bodegas Emilio Clemente, owned by the Clemente Luján family, the third generation of winegrowers who continue their family tadition in producing quality wines from their own vineyards situated in the Finca Caballero, which spans across 2000 hectares, 74 of which are vineyards, in the rolling Cabriel countryside. The winery produces the red wines Bomelot, Emilio Clemente Crianza, Peñas Negras Joven, Peñas Negras Madurado, Fussion and Excelencia. Their range of white wines includes Florante Joven, Florante Fermentado en Barrica, Fussion and Cava Regulus.


Dominio de la Vega. This winery produces its wines (DO Utiel-Requena) and quality sparkling wines (DO Cava) using traditional methods, with the aim of offering products with their own personalities that offer the greatest expression of the terroir. Production is led by master winemaker Daniel Expósito, who was awarded as Winemaker of the Year in 2010 by the Valencian Association of Winemakers. Under the label Añacal, the winery produces a white, rosé and red wine, as well as a collection of Cavas. However, the best of their repetoire focuses on their collection of special selections, with :Recuérdame, a white wine, blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Macabeo and Chardonnay; El Calma, a Bobal varietal aged for 8 months in new (225 and 500 litre) French and American oak barrels; Paraja Tornel, a Bobal varietal grown on low bush vines averaged around 50 years, grown on the plot of the same name, aged for 12 months in new French oak barrels; and the Finca La Beata, another Bobal variety from old vines of the Finca La Beata estate.


Bodegas Hispano + Suizas is a winery of vinos de autor situated in El Pontón (Requena). It is home to 61 hectares of vineyards, 46 of which a situated around the winery, and 15 that are over 500m away from the facilities, where a variety of grape varieties including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Bobal, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Petit Verdot are cultivated. The winery makes around a dozen products, including white wines, reds and sparkling wines under the DO Cava. Under the Impromptu brand the winery produces a Sauvignon Blanc varietal, which undergoes fermentation in 400 litre new American oak barrels, as well as Impromtu Rosé, a Pinot Noir that also ferments in new 400litre American oak barrels. Under the Bassus brand, the winery makes another Pinot Noir varietal, a sweet rosé blend of Pinot Noir and Bobal; and Bassus Finca Casilla Herrera, a blend of Bobal, Petit Verdot, Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah, aged for 10 months in new French oak barrels from Allier. Their other red is Superius Quod, a blend of Bobal, Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot, aged for 20 months in American oak barrels (400litres) and French oak barrels from Allier (225litres), where the best barrels are tasted and selected, which then are chosen to spend 10 months in French oak barrels before finally being blended. Their top of the range wine is the Bobos Finca Casa La Borracha, made exclusively with the Bobal variety from vines that have low yields and are over 70 years old. The wine is aged for a minimum of 10 months in new French oak barrels from Allier, and is a complex wine, combined with aromas of fresh fruits with a toasted and balsamic background. Full, rich and majestic in the mouth, combining a tannic balance with a good weight of fruit, with a finish of hints of lightly toasted wood and a good acidity.


 

Wineries belonging to the D.O Utiel-Requena:

Outstanding wines from the D.O. Utiel-Requena:

  • Bassus Pinot Noir 2014

    Red wine Barrel. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Hispano-Suizas. Production area: Utiel-Requena. Grapes used in this wine: Pinot Noir.

    19,45 VAT incl.
    6x
    18,50 €/u
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    Bassus Pinot Noir 2014

    Red wine Barrel. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Hispano-Suizas. Production area: Utiel-Requena. Grapes used in this wine: Pinot Noir.

    19,45 VAT incl.
    6x
    18,50 €/u
    Online only
  • Quod Superius 2012

    Red wine Reserva. 10 months in French oak barrels and 20 months in French and American oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Hispano-Suizas. Production area: Utiel-Requena. Grapes used in this wine: Syrah and Cabernet Franc and Merlot and Bobal.

    35,40 VAT incl.
    6x
    33,65 €/u
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    Quod Superius 2012

    Red wine Reserva. 10 months in French oak barrels and 20 months in French and American oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Hispano-Suizas. Production area: Utiel-Requena. Grapes used in this wine: Syrah and Cabernet Franc and Merlot and Bobal.

    35,40 VAT incl.
    6x
    33,65 €/u
    Online only
  • Impromptu Sauvignon Blanc 2015

    White wine Barrel fermented. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Hispano-Suizas. Production area: Utiel-Requena. Grapes used in this wine: Sauvignon Blanc.

    • Peñin 92
    19,45 VAT incl.
    6x
    18,50 €/u
    Out of stock!
    Sold out
    Online only
    Impromptu Sauvignon Blanc 2015

    White wine Barrel fermented. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Hispano-Suizas. Production area: Utiel-Requena. Grapes used in this wine: Sauvignon Blanc.

    • Peñin: 92
    19,45 VAT incl.
    6x
    18,50 €/u
    Out of stock!
    Sold out
    Online only
  • Quod Superius 2011

    Red wine Reserva. 10 months in French oak barrels and 20 months in French and American oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Hispano-Suizas. Production area: Utiel-Requena. Grapes used in this wine: Syrah and Cabernet Franc and Merlot and Bobal.

    35,40 VAT incl.
    6x
    33,65 €/u
    Last 4 available!
    Units
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    Quod Superius 2011

    Red wine Reserva. 10 months in French oak barrels and 20 months in French and American oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Hispano-Suizas. Production area: Utiel-Requena. Grapes used in this wine: Syrah and Cabernet Franc and Merlot and Bobal.

    35,40 VAT incl.
    6x
    33,65 €/u
    Last 4 available!
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