Reto 2020 · Buy it for £16.50 at Vinissimus
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/ 0.75 L btl
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Spec sheet

AllergensContains sulfites
Alcohol contenti13.5%

The wine

How many wines made from Albilla de Manchuela do you know? Most likely none, and you've probably never heard of this grape before either. Don't worry, neither had the ampelographers studying grapevine genetics. It's a very unusual variety, of unknown origin, that has nothing to do with the Albillos from the Sierra de Gredos despite their similar names. It was named Albilla de Villamalea or de Manchuela, albilla ('alba' in Spanish means 'dawn'), most likely due to its early ripening, since it's usually harvested at the beginning of August. So our thanks go to whoever first planted it there, and to those who kept it going.

Juan Antonio Ponce, creator of this fantastic wine, set himself a challenge ('reto' in Spanish means 'challenge'): to produce a white wine with personality, moving away from the more usual white wine profile and using local grapes. Plenty of originality, that's for sure! You'll find Reto a very interesting wine: pure, unpretentious, authentic, that you'll be getting at a very fair price. That said, the challenge for the consumer will be to find bottles on the market: you either get them when they're just released, or you make a note for next year. Ponce has that ability: to make splendid wines of limited production at such sensible prices they simply fly off the shelves (have you tried his Depaula?).

Reto has been nourished by a great variety of soils planted in high areas, between 700 and 820 metres; these are granite, calcareous-clay, calcareous, rocky, alluvial soils... and when you taste the wine you'll notice a saline undertone and wonder: where has this Atlantic, sea element come from? Ponce told us that there used to be some natural salt flats in the area, and we all concluded that the salt is still a feature deep in the ground. To achieve greater personality, each parcel is fermented and matured separately, the grapes are not destemmed so as to avoid over-extraction, and after pressing the must goes straight to the barrels, without maceration, where it matures on its lees for several months. This results in a delicate wine, almost transparent as regards colour in the cooler years, with plenty of volume but no heaviness; and a wine that fuses its rustic and floral components, a complex and mineral wine with a definite saltiness on the finish.

We won't say much more, as it's a wine to discover gradually and delight in its surprises. If the first impression reminds you of beer, you wouldn't be wrong, because the yeast aromas are very characteristic, very marked in some vintages. Smell it, savour its minerality, its refinement, its fresh whiffs of fennel and its marine undertone — it seems more like a Galician wine than one from the Cuenca region! You'll discover how appetising and seductive it is too on the palate: subtly sweet, saline, creamy, citrusy, with apple peel, lime, quince... It's Ponce's only white wine but truly a one-off. You've done more than overcome the challenge, Juan Antonio!

Drinking and storing

Serve between 10ºC and 12ºC

Food pairing

Mushrooms, Seafood in sauce, Braised vegetables, Chicken, Turkey, Fish in sauce, Rice with fish

Ratings and awards

201993+ PK
201894+ PK
201794 PK
201693+ PK
201593+ PK93 PN
PK: ParkerPN: Peñín

Customer reviews

7 reviews

The winery

Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce

Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce is a family-run winery which has successfully enabled the small denomination of Manchuela to start becoming known on the international scene. Their original and honest wines have developed into essential brands for finding out what this area produces, and in particular, for discovering the Bobal, a variety which is increasingly more appreciated thanks to the efforts and dedication of experienced winemakers such as Juan Antonio Ponce. Founded in 2005...