Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bodega Xalo'

On a recent trip to the Costa Blanca in Spain, I was pleased to see vines growing everywhere(where a villa or pool was not!) and to read that there were some highly regarded producers in the region. I must say I was a little surprised, but was more than willing to give it a go - even though it must be said the vineyards visible from the road did not look to be in the best condition.
After some research, it appeared the nearest place that would meet our needs was Xalo, which had several bodegas including a well thought of cooperative. So off we set in our two hire cars to find it - and after a few adventures on the way came to the pretty village of Xalo'. However on following signs to parking, and to the centre of town we found nothing - except a few closed shops (it was still siesta time!). So on we trudged in the increasing heat - until we chanced apon someone who could only be English from the colour of him - who gave us directions to "this amazing place" with "fantastic wines" - we eventually found our destination to be greeted by huge tanks with hoses running off them and the chance to sample the different wines on offer.
Locals and tourists alike were happily filling up great numbers of plastic containers with wine (priced at about 1 Euro a litre) - however if I've ever tasted a rougher wine than this - then I don't remember it - every single one seemed to get worse and worse - if this was award wining wines then I didn't want to see the competition!
I did however chance a bottle (more expensive at 4 Euros) and found that it was perhaps a little rustic, and certainly very vegetal with some red berry flavours, but it wasn't altogether bad - I don't think I hurry back to buy it again - but were I offered it I probably wouldn't turn it down either. My advice - don't expect wines from unknown regions to be up to much - the're probably unknown because they aren't that good!


rob jenkins said...

Found this cooperative bodega in 2005 whilst visiting the Sat morning market in Xalo(Jalon).Went back in 2006 to buy more white wine I found it very enjoyable,with a unmistakable flavour of strawberrys and citrus.

timmyc said...

Hi Rob... thanks for visiting -
I found the stuff they were selling in bottles perfectly drinkable - but the stuff in the great vats to be unrefined and a bit rough - they were almost certainly last years grapes and had probably been fermented and then put straight in the vats without any ageing.

I think the potential is there - but they have a lot of work to do in the vineyards and in the winery first.

Richard said...

I was there summer 2009 and the wines were fantastic, obviously a great improvement since 2005. Brought back 2 litres of Old Red that was served at a party with many wine fanatics that all raved about it.