"pure, full-bodied and complex, with lovely focus and balance... it has to be one of the best red wine values to be found anywhere in the US!" —
John Gilman, View from the Cellar
Utiel-Requena D.O.
100% Bobal, from 50-60 year old vines
925 meters / broken, brown limestone with high proportion of marine fossils
Farming Methods
In transition from traditional methods to sustainable; dry farmed
Hand harvested fruit
Destemmed grapes were fermented with native microbes in stainless steel tanks
Aged for 8 months in used, 70% French and 30% American oak barrels
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Name
Bovale 2016
91 (WRO) 90 (VfC) 90 (VM) 89 (WE)
Score Publication Review Copy
91 Wine Review Online I was fortunate to travel to Utiel-Requena in March of this year to learn about Bobal, the most extensively planted of all red varieties in Spain (believe it or not!). I was very impressed by the better examples of the breed, but returned to the USA to find a lamentable shortage of good specimens at prices that could tempt those who don’t know Bobal and are (understandably) reluctant to drop serious cash on a wine from a grape variety they haven’t experienced. This is the wine to fit that bill. It shows good “gutsiness” and density, thanks to the high-elevation, old vines from which it was sourced, but without being heavy or tiring to drink, thanks to having been picked before getting too ripe (and then being vinified skillfully and aged for just 6 months in used barrels). Aromas and flavors of mulberries and black cherries are very attractive, with some savory undertones that keep the wine interesting sip after sip. Made by the exceptionally talented Issac Fernandez and imported by the irrepressible Aurelio Cabestrero, this should be relatively easy to find for the category…and an exceptionally good ambassador for it. A wicked good wine to pair with burgers or other un-fussy foods, but certainly not limited to that purpose.
October 15, 2019
90 View from the Cellar The 2016 Bovale comes in at fourteen percent octane and offers up a lovely bouquet of cassis, sweet dark berries, a touch of coffee grounds, dark soil tones, a bit of roasted game and a gentle topnote of tree bark. On the palate the wine is ripe, full-bodied and nicely soil-driven, with a nice touch of plushness on the attack, a good core, fairly sturdy, but well-integrated tannins and excellent length and grip on the well-balanced and complex finish. This is approachable today, but will be even better with a few years in the cellar to allow the tannins to soften up a bit. This is a great value, as Bobal so often is! 2018-2035.
Issue #78 - November/December 2018
90 Vinous Media Inky ruby. Primary red/dark berry and vanilla scents are given spicy lift by a suggestion of white pepper. Juicy and seamless in texture, offering plush blackberry, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors that tighten up steadily on the back half. The smooth, appealingly sweet finish echoes the cherry note and betrays no tannins. (all destemmed grapes; 70% French and 30% American oak)
Drink 2020 – 2025
Mediterranean Spain: Diversity and Consistency, April 25, 2019
89 Wine Enthusiast Smoky blackberry and dark-plum flavors are robust and convincing, while this Bobal is grapy, meaty and showing rubbery tannins on a full palate. Blackberry and prune flavors come with mild oak and barbecued notes, while this is steady on a fruity, balanced finish.
August 2019
Copy All Reviews
Bovale 2019
90 (WRO) 90 (VM) 89 (VfC) ** (WP)
Score Publication Review Copy
90 Wine Review Online This very, very strong value wine shows the hearty honesty of the Bobal variety sourced from older vines in the area inland from Valencia, quite deftly rendered by winemaker Isaac Fernandez. Really just medium-bodied but packed with delicious flavors recalling dark plums and mulberries, it is rounded in texture and very inviting either as a stand-alone sipper or a partner for an especially wide range of dishes, thanks to its very well integrated acidity and tannin. No kidding, you could easily enjoy this with grilled salmon or just as easily with lamb chops. Great juice, deftly vinified.
Michael Franz - Issue: December 1, 2020
90 Vinous Media Deep, brilliant ruby. Smoke-tinged cherry-vanilla and dark berry scents pick up a floral topnote with air. Seamless and focused on the palate, offering black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a sweetening touch of mocha. Closes long and smooth, with a repeating cherry note and just a hint of tannins. 2022- 2027
Josh Raynolds - March 2021
89 View from the Cellar This wine is composed entirely of Bobal, which is a grape that I like very much. These particular vines are between fifty and sixty years of age, planted on crumbling brown limestone soils. The grapes are completely destemmed, the wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged for eight months in used barrels, with seventy percent of the casks of French origin and the rest of American oak. The 2019 Bovale comes in at 14.5 percent octane and offers up a vibrant nose of black cherries, dark berries, smoked meats, bonfire, wild fennel and a fine base of chalky soil tones. On the palate the wine is deep, ripe and full-bodied, with a good core of fruit, broad shoulders, buried tannins and a long, nascently complex and ever so slightly warm finish. Good juice that is approachable today but will also age well. A super value, as this retails in the US for $16 a bottle! 2021-2045.
John Gilman - Issue #91 / February 2021
** The Washington Post Score: ** 1/2 stars (Excellent/Extraordinary)
Calling all adventurous grape explorers! If you haven’t tried a wine made from bobal, an obscure grape variety indigenous to Spain, here’s your chance. It tastes of cherries galore, or cherries jubilee, perhaps. It’s rustic, a bit chunky and chewy rather than silky, but pair this with a savory stew, or some jamón tapas, and it will shine.
Dave McIntyre - February 11, 2021
Copy All Reviews
Bovale 2020
90 (OB) 88 (VfC)
Score Publication Review Copy
90 100% old vine Bobal, this reveals juicy boysenberry and Acai flavors with salty undertones. Showing good weight and acidity, no need to cellar this great value. Drink now. Drink 2022-2026.
Owen Bargreen - July 20, 2022
88 View from the Cellar I have liked the Bovale bottling from Isaac Fernandez quite well in past vintages and the 2020 is no exception, as this is another very good example of the Bobal grape. It is made from vines that range from fifty to sixty years of age, with the wine fermented with native yeasts and aged in used casks for eight months (seventy percent French barrels and thirty percent American oak). The 2020 version comes in at 14.5 percent alcohol and offers up a bright and sappy nose of black cherries, sweet dark berries, a bit of hung game, chocolate, dark soil tones and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, ripe and juicy at the core, with good soil signature, chewy tannins and just a bit of backend heat poking out on the long finish. This is a lot of wine for its price tag! I like it even better in vintages where it is not quite so ripe, but this manages its heat pretty well. It could use a few years in the cellar to soften up its backend tannins. 2028-2045.
John Gilman - Issue #103 January/February 2023.
Copy All Reviews

Share this wine

Rate this wine

Have you tasted this wine?
Feel free to add your notes and rating.

Vivino Delectable Cellar Tracker