We are excited to announce the most recent addition to our Iberian Portfolio: Bodegas Ponce from Manchuela! In 2005, after working as Telmo Rodriguez's righthand man at Remelluri for a few years, Juan Antonio Ponce, who was just 23 years-old at the time, launched Bodegas Ponce, which quickly rose to the top in the tightest of wine geek circles. Known as the king of the Bobal varietal to many, a local grape that's termed Valenciano in the rest of Spain, Ponce comes from a long blood line of grape growers, joining forces at the Bodegas with his father who shares his name. And while Bobal is a tannic grape with bright acidity that's typically been used to produce bulk rosé wines in a region that lacks a unified identity, it is Ponce who has taken this native varietal to another, sublime dimension.
Working biodynamically with vines that have been in his family for generations, Ponce, who is now 29, makes wine with fruit from 75-year-old vines. And though at 17, he was the youngest certified enologist in Spain, Ponce prioritizes his work in the vineyards, dividing parcels according to terroir and working with patchworks of plots. After hand-harvesting and separately fermenting these prized clusters from individual parcels, Ponce employs natural yeasts and partial carbonic maceration in ancient foudres to best express the terroir of his Bobal grapes.
To ensure that his attentions to minute details are not laid to waste, Ponce makes three wines that are 100% Bobal, including Clos Lojen, Pino and La Casilla. And as if these dedications to the resurrection of old world techniques weren't enough, alongside his cultivation of Bobal, Ponce also makes Buena Pinta, a wine that's 60% Moravia Agria, a little known local grape, and 40% Garnacha Tinta.
Samples are en route and the wine will follow soon! We look forward to bringing you more on the artistry of this wonder vintner from Manchuela, Juan Antonio Ponce.