Bodegas Ponce was started by Juan Antonio and his father in 2005 when he was only 23. Juan Antonio's family had owned vineyards in the DO of Manchuela going back generations, but they hadn't ever made the wines themselves. Bodegas Ponce has in a short time established a reputation as the top producer of Manchuela's native grape: Bobal. Ponce farms biodynamically, ferments with natural yeasts from the grapes skins, and doesn't fine or filter the wines. For more in depth info check out this other blog post: Bodegas Ponce
Aroma: Once's Clos Lojen has a forceful aroma and right off the bat I can smell grilled meat, wood smoke, and ripe blackberries. I can actually smell some of those flavors just on opening the bottle! The smoke and grill aromas give balance to the ripe sunny fruit aromas that are here but don't over whelm them. Clos Lojen has an aroma that's interesting, inviting, and complicated: both bright and smoky at the same time.
Palate: the Clos Lojen is substantial red wine. It fills your mouth with dense tight black cherry and brambly spice. There's fresh fruit right up front, but then the mid palate kind of diverges into two distinct complementary flavors: deep dark dense fruit and that prickly wood smoke. There's almost a bit of a milk chocolaty texture and creaminess hiding in there, not the sweetness, but the smooth earthiness. Then the finish gets tied back together with tannins that dry the wine out, focus it, and pull those different flavors back into one experience.
Ponce's Clos Lojen is both delicious and unique. It's medium bodied and will work great with hearty rustic red meat dishes. Clos Lojen may only be Ponce's entry level wine, but it's a very satisfying and memorable wine for under $15. Clos Lojen is available at Rosemont on Brighton Ave, Rosemont in Yarmouth, Aurora Provisions, The Farm Stand, and Maine and Loire