After a significant cutting of teeth stint as winemaker at Viñedos Y Bodegas Manual Manzaneque, Juan decided to focus on the family winery located in the village of Campo Arcís. His small winery is located within the walls of his family home, with the barrel room in the basement of the same house, with its ultra-small production, Pigar make true garage wines.
His vineyards consist of distinct plots of old bush vines, farmed organically, over a variety of different soils and micro-climates. Producing wines from chardonnay, syrah, bobal (D.O. Utiel-Requenas historically maligned but now championed work horse) and heritage varieties tardana and royal. Wines are low added sulphur, minimal intervention with some employing skin contact.
Bodegas Pigar is set to become a cult icon (if not already) of Utiel-Requena.
Tasting: An indigenous grape variety in Spain’s southeast, Bobal has a chequered past. When over irrigated it can produce very large volumes of fruit, over cropped vines produce bland, sub-standard fruit. This coupled with its extremely good disease resistance has meant that it has been used extensively for poor quality bulk wine. However, in the right hands, with yields kept low, Bobal can produce exceptionally beguiling wines. An exceptionally vibrant nose of concentrated cassis, blackcurrant and herbs backed by a sumptuous palate of plush blackberry jam, spicy cassis and finished off with a hint of Mediterranean herbs.
Tasting: A brand new wine that came about from a very old abandoned parcel of vines that Juan began to recoup back in 2006 (where the Bobales Perdidos also comes from). The white varietals were so indigenous that it actually took a few years for any genetic info to be found on them. After submitting them to one of the local Universities they found that these were almost extinct local grapes by the name of Tortosi (related to Bobal), Forcallat Blanco (often confused with Airen), and Arce (Valenci Blanc).
Tasting: This plot was planted in 2007. For this wine bogegas Pigar are using the forgotten style of vinification called "Black Chardonnay". "Black Chardonnay" is made when pressing takes place in an oxygen-rich environment creating a muddy, black must. As the juice separates, a clean wine of great aging potential is produced.