I always look forward to the monthly newsletters from Alforins.com, the online retailer specializing in wines from the Clariano subzone of DO Valencia (though it has wines from elsewhere, as well as very good olive oil and chocolatee and such).
The wines are not only reasonably priced, there tends to be a surprise or two. This month they offer a wine made from a grape I’ve never come across before, Rojal. It is “La Amistad” 2010 from Bodegas Bernabé Navarro (DO Alicante). This bodega has initiated a project “Viñedos Culturales” (Cultural Vineyards) which is based (I quote from the newsletter) “on the philosophy of limited production from vineyards from this ferociously arid territory, produced with complete respect for the land, along with the recovery of grape varieties and vines that have been virtually forgotten by man, if not by God, with a view to showing what they can do. Wines that reflect a territory, a culture, tradition, and interpret what the land provides, without manipulation. In a word, going back to the beginning.” La Amistad is the first product of this initiative. I’m certainly ordering a bottle or two, if only out of curiosity.
The second bottle highlighted is from Celler la Muntanya, and is a “wine that tastes of pasodoble”. It is named after one of the most famous, and overplayed pasodobles of all, Paquito el Chocolatero. This “Paquito el Chocolatero” 2009. This is another product in the “microvinya” concept of the the bodega and its founder, Juan Cascant. This particular microvinya is owned by the son of Gustavo Pascual Falcó, the composer of the classic work. It is also a tribute to the innumerable town and village bands that are such a feature of the Comunitat Valenciana, and to the many musicians who till the soil when they are not producing almost always highly accomplished music.
I salute alforins.com and these two cultural and vinous initiatives.