The Valencia Denominacion de Origen wine title covers 13,000 hectares (32,000 acres), divided unevenly between two distinct geographical areas. The smaller area, Clarino lies about 65 kilometers (40 miles) to the southwest of Valencia city, and dovetails with the northern edge of the Alicante DO zone; meaty red wines made from the Monastrell, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grape varieties are the specialty here. The larger area, where the majority of vineyards are located, lies inland from the city, and spreads north and west into the foothills of the Sistema Ibérico mountain range.
Bodegas Cepa 21, Hito Ribera del Duero Tempranillo 2016
The word “HITO" means milestone, a stone post, sometimes carved, used to indicate direction or distance on roads or to delimit fields. HITO was created as a young wine in order to complete the range of this modern, innovative winery. Made from the youngest vines of the winery, grafted with Tinto Fino clones from the flagship vineyards of Bodegas Emilio Moro.
Cherry red colour covered with clear violets around the rim. The nose is very intense and complex. Red fruits of raspberry and strawberry, black ones of blackcurrant, mulberry and blackberry. Elegant fine oak, subtly toasted with notes of black licorice. Fleshy with sweet tannins that give volume, and with a long aftertaste. “A silkiness masks depth and density in this polished red. Cherry and berry flavors are ripe and juicy, backed by vanilla, spice and floral notes. Well-integrated tannins keep this focused through the toasty finish. Drink now through 2026.
91 pts. Wine Spectator
Bodegas Enrique Mendoza, Alicante Monastrell La Tremenda 2016
Their entry-level Monastrell is already the 2016 La Tremenda is sourced from the vineyard that names the wine, from their estate El Chaconero in the village of Villena, a plot at 600 meters altitude planted some 25 years ago. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in French barriques for six months. 2016 is a cooler year than 2014 or 2015, and the wines reflect it. It was not an easy year; they had to do a strict selection of grapes, and it paid off. It has the character of the variety, with its elegant rusticity with a fresh, herbal twist and a palate with fine-grained tannins, nicely textured and with a supple, very tasty finish. This is a superb introduction to Monastrell from Alicante at an incredible price.
92 pts. Robert Parker