Celler del Roure
- Valencia, Spain
Everything old is new again. If you had visited Celler del Roure ten years ago, you would have been treated to a modern, minimalist, and spotless cellar with assorted stainless steel tanks and new French oak barrels. After touring the current technology in viticulture, you would be taken on a tour of the ancient property, including an old olive oil press, various outbuildings, and a subterranean cellar dug into the bedrock below the estate. This cellar afforded a glimpse of the winemaking practices from centuries ago. The cellar’s winding halls are lined by dozens of amphorae embedded into the earth, each with individual stone lids. Many are joined by stone channels carved into the rock, serving as the most rudimentary form of gravity flow. Some amphorae had cracked over the years, but a surprising number remained in perfect condition.
Such a complete and well-preserved artifact of viniculture would have remained an intellectual curiosity for most people, but Pablo saw it as an opportunity to explore how wines were made centuries ago and how they would have tasted. Such an endeavor makes complete sense once you meet Pablo and understand his connection with the history of the area around the village of Moixent. As a proponent of the indigenous varieties of the area such as Mando and Verdil, how could he not also champion indigenous viniculture? While there are still “modern” wines made at Roure, including 16 Gallets, Les Alcusses, and Maduresa, we are quite taken with the new cuvées aged in amphorae in the ancient cellar: Cullerot, Vermell, Safrà, and Parotet.
Pablo’s vineyards are farmed manually and organically, and harvests are by hand in small crates. Vine age ranges from 15 to 70 years old, and the soils are various clays – ranging from fine alluvial and loamy soils to rockier limestone terroirs. Increasingly, he uses more and more whole clusters in the fermentation, finding the finished wines are more refined and savory – elements that are emphasized by the aging in amphorae.