Finca Sandoval was founded in 1998 by writer, wine critic, and editor of El Mundo, Víctor de la Serna, and […]Keep Reading
Finca Sandoval was founded in 1998 by writer, wine critic, and editor of El Mundo, Víctor de la Serna, and winemaker Rafael Orozco. They saw the potential of the high altitude and limestone-rich soils around Cuenca in Manchuela. This estate put La Mancha on the map for its flashy and showy wines in the early 2000s, but with successive vintages, Víctor began to realize that his vision for a Grand Estate in an unheralded corner of Spain wouldn’t be built on the quality of Syrah or Touriga Nacional but on the relatively obscure and indigenous Bobal, Moravia Agria, Mediterranean varieties such as Garnacha and Monastrell, and indigenous white varieties including Tortosí, Verdal, Albillo de Albacete, Pardillo, Blanco Castellano and Trepadell. A keen follower of the emerging generation of young winemakers garnering praise worldwide, Víctor reached out to Javi. After discovering their mutual admiration, Javi was brought on to spearhead the changes at Finca Sandoval.
Javi greatly respects what Finca Sandoval has achieved, noting, “For me, this was one of the more classic wineries outside of Rioja, Ribera, and Galicia. They were trying to make quality wine, and I admired this project. It was a nice surprise when they called me to help them make their wines.”
Just an hour from La Font de la Figuera, Manchuela has a distinctive viticultural heritage from Valencia. The principal indigenous variety is Bobal, a grape that had once been dismissed as too rustic but with low yields and suitable soils, and it could make characterful and distinctive wines of precise fruit with meaty and herbal undertones balanced with freshness and fine tannins. Soon, only the best parcels of Syrah were retained, and the rest grafted over to a massale selection of Bobal or a mix of local red and white varieties. Relying on the existing reputation of the estate and Javi’s growing fame, they gradually acquired additional vineyards of old-vine Bobal co-planted with other indigenous varieties. Farming is now certified organic, and winemaking is moving from technical to traditional with more whole clusters, native yeast fermentations, and aging in increasingly neutral vessels comprised of seasoned French oak, foudres, and amphorae. Vintage 2019 was a brilliant reintroduction to the terruño of Finca Sandoval, something Víctor had long sensed his land could achieve but which Javi proved more than capable of revealing.Close