The Bobal Grape

The Bobal is a red grape native to Utiel Requena.

The vine is austere and highly resistant to severe weather and to pests, as well as being highly productive. It stands up well to water shortages and oidium, but is vulnerable to mildew.

Its bunches are large and compact, average in weight, with berries that are medium to large, some 3 to 5 times larger than those of Cabernet Sauvignon, and round and juicy. Low-hanging, the leaves are very large and the grape skins are tough and thick, and abundant in tannins and anthocyanins.

The Bobal vine stands up well to freezing winter weather, and sprouts late as a defence against the unpredictable and damaging spring frosts. This slow ripening enables the plant to retain a higher level of acidity in the juice.

Though the Bobal grape is primarily a producer of rosé wines and young, aromatic red wines with good acidity, its real potential is in wines for ageing, due to its body and structure. Bobal reds are notable for their strong tannins and their aromas of spice and red fruit, especially cherries. They tend to be low in alcohol and high in acidity.

The quality of the wines depends to a great extent on the work carried out at pruning time and constant attention to the vineyard, alongside the skill and experience of the winemaker, especially when it comes to ageing in oak.