Thursday, April 13, 2023

Meet the producer: Balmoral Maravides, Valencia, Spain

Snow at 1000 meters (photo Balmoral)

A big challenge they put before themselves at Balmoral: produce pinot noir in southern Spain. A grape which is known to give its best at cool latitudes, as in Burgundy. The climate could not be more different, but At Balmoral Maravides they had an ace up their sleeve to cool the environment for pinot noir: altitude. So they planted 150 hectares of organic vineyards at 1000+ meters above sea level, to produce about 500k bottles per year, half sparkling and half still. This are the highest altitude vineyards for sparkling wine in Spain.

Their winemaker from Epernay Hervé Jestin makes sure some French imprint is left on the bubbles, though the final signature is uniquely Maravides. Their wines are organic certified.

I met Carlos Garcia Gomariz at an online fair organized by Onvinum and they graciously agreed to send some samples for review. Here below are my tasting notes. Thank you for allowing me to discover a new reality of southern Spain.

Rosé, pinot noir sparkling
My first impression was of a light, easy  wine to drink over the Summer, in the garden, with some starters. However after I left the bottle, half empty, in the fridge for two days, capped with a vacuvin valve, I found a more complex taste and a rounder finish. The best of the wines we tasted from this creative vineyard.
Score 88

Edoné chardonnay sparkling brut
An easy bottle of traditional method bubbles with medium body and a (slightly puzzling for a brut) touch of sweet at the end. Score 80

This chard is flowery, fruity even if it is missing some typical chardonnay complexity, body and buttery notes. An easy wine to drink cold in the Summer with some starters. Score 80

Syrah 2021
An easy syrah just in time for the coming Spring grill in the garden. Moderate structure and complexity. To be enjoyed now, do not wait. Score 82