Encuentro Bobal 2013

Hey!  I had another new wine experience recently.  I had a Bobal.

My first thought when I saw the label was, “What the heck is a Bobal?”  I bought it, of course.  How else was I to find out?  Seems the Bobal grape is a red wine grape that is native to the Valencia area.  It is also known by a host of other names, none of which I recognized.  So I think it’s safe to say that this was, indeed, my first Bobal.  Awesome!

Winemaker:  Encuentro by Bodega Aranleón
Varietal: Bobal
Vintage: 2013
Appellation:  Valencia DDO, Spain
Price:  $6.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  This Spaniard was medium-bodied and silky in the mouth.  On the nose I caught scents of blueberry, blackberry, pepper, rubber and kerosine.  Acidity was good, tannins were light, and alcohol was a 13.5%.  Flavors I found included eucalyptus, blueberry, blackberry, rubber, leather and tobacco with a repeat of eucalyptus on the finish.  I liked that it was more than just a simple, cheap red.  It had some complexity on the palate as well as in the bouquet.  According to my research, the varietal can produce wines with chewy tannins as well as the higher acidity and dark fruit flavors I found in this selection.  I definitely would have enjoyed a bit more tannic backbone than was present in the Encuentro, but at $6.99 I don’t really think I have much to complain about.

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Cocobon Red Blend 2012

Here’s a question for you: What does Cocobon mean?  Is it an invented name or does it pertain to something in the real world … someone’s family name, a town, a geographical feature, perhaps a cultural allusion of some sort?  I will say that the graphics on the wine’s label reminded me a bit of the leaves and fruit on a cocoa plant.  Is that where the name stems from –  good cocoa?  Well, I suppose knowing what inspired the name isn’t exactly critical.  Is it enjoyable to drink?  That’s the important question.  But if you do know the origin of this label’s name, please drop a comment and enlighten me.

Winemaker:  Cocobon Vineyards
Varietal: Red Blend
Vintage: 2012
Appellation:  California
Price:  $9.99

Notes:  The color of this Cocobon Red Blend, another of The Wine Group’s many labels, was a dark cherry red.  On the nose I caught whiffs of barnyard and berries.  The acidity was good and tannins were modest on this light-bodied blend.  Alcohol was at 13.5%.  Flavors I detected included cherry, lots of cedar, cola syrup, and a touch of spice.  Once it breathed, the cedar subsided somewhat and made way for the addition of what I thought was a plummy flavor.  It finished on a green herbal note.  I liked this inexpensive blend just fine.