Celler del Roure
“This wine is exceptional for all sorts of reasons and I cannot tell you what fun it is to drink, not just taste” – Jancis Robinson on Celler del Roure.
Celler del Roure lies in the hills south west of Valencia, in the village of Moixent. The production goes under DO Valencia but in fact they are located in the sub-region of Clariano. It all began in 1995 when Pablo “Paco” Calatayud, a local, started the project with his father after finishing his agronomy studies. Without any previous involvement in wine they set of to produce honest wines, and they were well received. Then, as was the norm for the time, they started out with the local grape variety Monastrell blended with Tempranillo and international varieties. As the years went past and they gathered experience they felt that they were on the wrong path. It became Pablo’s mission and passion to find and revive indigenous grapes. One day he came across a local winegrower that was tending vines of Mandó for his own everyday wine. Pablo realized its uniqueness and that it held a sense of place to the region. At once Celler del Roure began to cut of Tempranillo and Merlot vines and graft Mandó on them. Mandó can best be explained by pointing out its similarities with Gamay grown in Beaujolais; vibrant fruit, wonderfully fresh with slightly more body and texture. Reds are the focus, but later the white variety Verdil has emerged as a great white variety to produce fresh terroir-driven whites in this hot climate.
The pursuit of terroir did not stop at the discovery of local grape varietis. In 2006 the family bought an ancient historic farm with ancient underground cellars. In these cellars almost 100 17th century clay amphoras embedded in the ground, used for winemaking all those hundreds of years ago. Many were broken but a surprisingly large number were in perfect condition. These are uncoated on the inside and the only matter separating the wine and the clay is a layer of crystalized tartaric acid. Celler del Roure explains that the amphorae transmit terroir and age their wines with similar effect as oak without imparting any flavor and are thus preferred. What was also found is stone lagars, open shallow stone fermenters, that are also incorporated in the winemaking.
Today Celler del Roure has 50 hectares of organic certified (CAECV) vines. The vines are 30-70 years old and are predominantly grown in sandy loam. The vineyards have an elevation of around 600 meters bringing cool night and even more freshness into the wines. Wines are fermented in stainless steel tanks or stone lagars, partial whole cluster, with native yeast. Aging occurs in amphorae.