Since establishing Bodegas Ponce in 2005 at the age of 23, Juan Antonio Ponce has had the eyes and discerning palates of the wine world awaiting his next move. Crowned the King of Bobal, Ponce made a mark with his commitment to native varietals and to his employment of Old World techniques. After resurrecting Bobal to majestic proportions while others let lit languish in bulk, Ponce then took it upon himself to rouse a second obscure varietal from its slumber.
Found only in Spain, Moravia Agria is a highly acidic, small-berried varietal that struggles in the vineyard. Noted as the only producer to shine a light on this previously languishing varietal, Ponce is noted in Jancis Robinson's Wine Grapes for his success with it. Here, Robinson and her co-authors write: Moravia Agria "can contribute freshness and structure as well as attractive aromas ranging from red fruits through floral to wild herbs and grasses. In Manchuela, Juan Antonio Ponce has begun to co-ferment Garnacha with Moravia Agria to produce Buena Pinta, a structured, earthy, garrigue-scented red."
Working organically and biodynamically in the vineyard, Ponce comes from a long line of growers and so farms first, healthy vines that are encouraged to exhibit the terroir of their parcels, while also serving to ensure that his vines harmoniously co-exists with their natural environment. After hand-harvesting his fruit, Ponce then ferments whole-bunch, or 'remango', with wild yeast, as was once popular in Rioja. And while his other wines are fermented by parcel, Buena Pinta 2012 is a blend of 80% Moravia Agria (60+ years old from calcareous soils) and 20% Garnacha (30+ years old from clay-calcareous soils) that is co-fermented in wooden casks with 4,000kg capacity.
Of Ponce, Robert Parker wrote: "I have adored the wines of Bodegas Ponce for two or three years now. Juan Antonio Ponce traveled through France learning his trade and picking up biodynamic techniques on the way. These are brilliant, expressive, vibrant, life affirming wines that brim over with character as well as a sense of place."
Slightly smokey and floral on the nose with cherry and red plum fruit, Bodegas Ponce Buena Pinta 2012 offers hints of blood orange, spice and clay with acidity that's tucked inside of each sip. The tannins are light and velvety, and the finish licked with red cherry and lingering spice.