Celler del Roure, Safrà, DO Valencia, Spain, 2021
The beauty of the landscape is matched only by the warmth and generosity with which you’re met by Pablo and his team …
Tucked behind the Serra Grossa, at the top of the Alrorins-Alcusses valley, is the rural idyl of Celler del Roure, an estate developed by Pablo Calatuyud and his father to shine a light on a more ancient and authentic style of Valencian wine and away from the bulk production the area was becoming more recognized for. His intention to rehabilitate long-forgotten grapes such as Mando, Arcos and Verdil was solidified with the discovery of a 500-year-old cellar on the mountainside property, with subterranean clay amphoras ‘tinajas’ in near perfect condition. Pablo describes the affinity of ancient grapes and amphora as nothing short of magical, ‘they need each other’ he explains. Looking across the landscape from the winery, you can’t but notice the higher exposed chalky white soils akin to albariza, whilst closer to the winery there is more sand both of which add delicacy and freshness to the wines. The altitude and the cooling east winds help maintain the acidity and freshness of the grapes, providing a remarkable location for vine cultivation in this warm Mediterranean region. The site also has deep historical significance, as archeologists have discovered evidence of a 4th century civilization on the site of Bastide de les Alcusses. The lasting impression of Celler del Roure is one of integration, into their landscape and history, producing relaxed, convincing wines with genuine excitement, pace and energy, that you just want to drink, share and go back for more.
Pablo has realised that these indigenous grapes are worth saving and, treated properly, can create wines of wonderful quality, freshness and concentration. Paying meticulous care in the vineyard and winery reduces the need for sulphur additions meaning his wines are verging on "natural".
Safrà is another wine in the project based on the traditions of the Alforins area. Produced mainly from the native grape of Mandó with grapes like Garnacha Tintorera or Arcos making up the rest of the blend. Unlike the other reds matured in earthen jars, the Mandó was harvested before it is fully mature and vinified in the old part of the winery in inox containers using indenous yeasts, with a third of the grapes being whole bunches. After fermentation, the wine rests for six months in the earthenware jars from the old Bodega Fonda.
No oak ageing
This wine is fluid...with more akin to a white wine and more alive, with fresh and bright fruit aromas and a pleasant balsamic sensation.
Best with mediterranean dishes.
Garnacha Tintorera 15%
6 x 75cl