D.O. Bullas | Catavino
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D.O. Bullas

Last weekend, my roommate made a trek down to a small town in southern Spain called [Bullas->http://www.bullas.net]. Before leaving, she asked if there was anything I would like for her to pick up while she was down there. “YES!” was my response as I proceeded to point out that Bullas was not just a town but one of Spain’s up and coming D.O.s. Located in the region of [Murcia->http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murcia], it is a D.O. that is located nearby the now famous regions of [Jumilla->http://www.winesfromspain.com/icex/cda/controller/pageGen/0,3346,1549487_4946338_4944445_1072_-1,00.html], and [Yecula->http://yeclavino.com/]. Both D.O.s are famous for their wines made from the [Monastrell->http://twis.info/grape.php?ID=181&select=m] grape variety and have recently shined on the international market thanks to importers like [Eric Solomon->http://www.europeancellars.com/index.cfm].

As fortune would have it, she was not only able to pick up some fun wines, but also stopped in a local museum called “Museo del Vino”. Taken from their brochure, here is a short description of what you might find should you find yourself in Bullas:

The wine museum of Bullas is born as an answer the tradition of the grape and wine growing in the area. It is conceived as a centre of services and activities related to the tourist and cultural promotion in Bullas and in its production area. The exposition shows, in a didactic way all the successive processes to obtain wine, differentiating clearly between traditional and current procedures.

More info about [D.O.Bullas->http://www.bullas.net/elvino/]
In 1982, Bullas was given provisional D.O. status only to have this made permanent in 1994. Bullas currently has 95% of its vine plantings as Monastrell with small amounts of Tempranillo, Macabeo and Airén. Experimental plots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Syrah and Merlot are showing up as well as wine makers try to experiment with this region. D.O. Bullas is just starting to tap its potential and people should keep there eyes out for this rising star. If you get a chance, make sure to try any of their reds or rosés because this is where their real strength is.

Last night, I was able to try two of the wines my roommate returned with for which I have attached my tasting notes below.
Till soon, Ryan

  • 2001 Coop. Vinícola-Argaria Bullas Crianza Viñanteo – Spain, Murcia, Bullas (6/29/2005)
    13%/vol Monastrell/Tempranillo blend 12 months in American and French Barrels

Nice red, deep with lightly brickish rim. Rich nose of oak and raw vanilla with a slight musty cobweb quality. Some cherry for fruit but a bit tight right out of the bottle. Medium to heavy body with a strong acidity and soft tannins. The finish shows alcohol but lingers gently. Rich cherry and raspberry mingled with a rich mire-poix of vanilla, oak, and earth. The acidity really is nice and I can’t wait to try this with dinner. The Cherry as you finish reminds me of the soft center as you lightly chew on the pit, trying to strip it of its flesh.
[c5a11t15o7=88pts alt=4 ->http://www.catavino.net/?page_id=3]

  • 2001 Bodegas Madroñal Bullas Crianza – Spain, Murcia, Bullas (6/29/2005)
    14.3%/vol 80%Monastrell 20%Merlot

Rich ruby purple color though a bit transparent. Rich nose, big with anise, thick chocolate, some dried fruit, plum, light oak, vanilla and more. Really tight right out of the bottle. Big in the mouth with rich strong tannins balanced by big fruit, oak and acidity. The finish lingers in the mouth for a 15 count. Flavors of chocolate, plum, oak, raspberry, and a backbone of earth that seems to support the fruit that is waiting to show up.
After 3 hours the fruit never showed through the fat tannins, not sure if time will help!
[c5a12t13o6=86 alt= 3 ->http://www.catavino.net/?page_id=3]

In all fairness, the fruit did show better on the next day but with a lot of acidity. Therefore, I don’t really think this wine has great balance. On the other hand, today it is showing more like a wine that could pair well with food.

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