The wines of Finca Sandoval, Manchuela, Spain

Finca Sandoval was started by wine journalist Victor de la Serna in 1998, but recently new investors have come in (Victor is still the largest shareholder, though) and Javi Revert is now making the wines. ‘For me this was one of the more classic wineries,’ Javi says, ‘outside of Rioja, Ribera and Galicia. They were trying to do quality wine and I loved this project. It was nice when they called me to help them do their wines.’

Javi Revert

Manchuela is an hour’s drive from where he is working in Valencia, and it’s a very different region. Bobal is the key grape here. This is a big region of around 40 000 hectares. There are a lot of old vineyards here, and a wide range of terroirs. ‘With the same grape we can make different wines.’ When he arrived there they were making eight wines. As well as Bobal, they’d planted some Syrah and Touriga Nacional. Victor made a study of the soils in 2000, and divided the vineyards according to the soil type. Altitude is 700-1000 m, and the soils have some limestone. Victor had planted 10 hectares of Syrah but no Bobal: they have now added 10 hectares of Bobal, and source from some venerable old vineyards.

Finca Sandoval Fundamentalista 2020 Manchuela, Spain
This is 90 year old Bobal from deeper clay soils that spends 10 months in 1000 litre tinajas. [Javi says that even though it is varietal Bobal, the old vineyards have quite a mix of grapes, so 20% of this blend will be a range of white varieties: it’s a field blend.] Supple and bright with lovely red fruits. There’s a touch of liqourice here with nice brightness but also a bit of depth. Has a chalky, mineral, slightly clay-like edge to the palate. Superb balance and drinkability. 93/100

Finca Sandoval Salia 2020 Manchuela, Spain
This is from sandy clay soils and it’s a blend of Syrah (60%) and Bobal (40%). This fleshy and peppery with sleek, ripe black cherry fruit with lovely depth. Nice fruit here with some peppery hints. It has a touch of olive and some cured meat, and it’s so delicious. 94/100

Finca Sandoval Finca Sandoval 2020 Manchuela, Spain
Mainly Syrah with a touch of Bobal. 18 months in 5000 litre foudres. Sandy clay/limestone fruit. This is lovely with fresh, slightly peppery, meaty cherry, blackberry and plum fruit. There’s lovely definition to the ripe, lush fruit with nice definition. Such purity to the fruit here. Very fine, nice acid line, and detailed peppery notes. 95/100

Finca Sandoval La Rosa 2019 Manchuela, Spain
This is Bobal from 90 year old vines. First vintage for Javi who arrived in July just before vintage. Ripe and detailed with firm tannins and focused black cherry and berry fruits. There’s a savoury twist here. Some minty hints. Firm, detailed and in need of some time to resolve. 93/100

UK agent: Indigo Wines and some of the wines are available from The Sourcing Table – I declare an interest as contributing editor.

US agent: Indigo Wine US/Eric Solomon Selections

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