30% Mandó, 70% Garnacha Tintorera grown at 550 metres. 70% de-stemmed, 3-5 days maceration, fermentation in stainless, 4 months in clay.
It’s all bright, buzzy and electric-energetic, red currant, barberry and pomegranate in red dirt. Light cherry sweetness settles into the savoury spread of cola root, earthen tannin, and dotted with soft, dry earthen spices. Beautifully balanced on fine natural acid. Incredible wine for the money, it’s light, savoury and stylish, finishing chalky and herbal. A banging Big Rosie!
Rare Valencian varieties, carefully made to retain freshness, then aged in tinajas in a bodega fonda (large clay jars buried in an underground cellar). Below, Pablo Calatayud (with his father Paco).
“Criat, com es feia abans, en gerres de fang soterrades” (raised, as used to be the way, in underground amphorae)
Cellar del Roure’s sandy-loam vineyards are at 600 metres altitude, nestled under Sierra La Solana. The nearest town, Moixent, is an hour south-west and inland from Valencia city. Clariano is the official sub-zone name of this hilly south-western part of sprawling Valencia. ‘Terres de Alforins’ is an unofficial sub-regional name adopted by several quality producers around the town of Fontanars dels Alfarins on the flank of the mountains (a group led by Pablo). Due south across the mountains is the north- western reach of DO Alicante, where lie Pepe Mendoza’s vineyards in Entrena.
Apart from being lovely wines, the Celler Del Roure story is one of a return to history: this area has a 2400 year culture of winemaking from locally adapted varieties. Apart from the aberrant 20th century, there’s a long historical legacy of fermentation and ageing in amphorae. Pablo and Paco’s bodega fonda (underground winery) was first excavated 300 years ago and houses buried terracotta amphorae ranging from 600-2800 litres. Abandoned in the dark days of 1930s Spain, the Catalayuds are busy renovating these historical clay jars. Of 97 ancient pots, 20 have been dug out, renovated and re-buried in the cellar’s aglomerado soil – a sand, limestone, chalk, clay mix.