New World Wine Importer Commences Sales in Valencia

Julio Calvo and a selection of Chilean Red Wines from Vin365.
VIN365, Valencia’s New World Wine Importer.
Operating under the slogan `Uncork the World´ Vin365 has now opened for business via the internet and a base in Alfafar.
Two friends, Julio Calvo and Pieter Whaley decided to launch their business selling New World wines following persuasion from friends who had the advantage of trying some of the wines they brought back from trips abroad selling Spanish wines.
Their strategy is to source wines from different parts of the world which have an excellent price to quality ratio. Having lived in other countries they have been frustrated at being unable to buy wine here in Valencia from elsewhere in the world at sensible prices. Apart from Las Añadas de Espana ( Valencia´s leading wine merchant with a good stock of imported high quality expensive wine,) and Carrefour with occasional forays into Australia, South Africa and Romania ( all of it commercial and of not particularly high quality ) there really is very little foreign wine here.
Talking to Pieter  ( formerly Export Manager for Chozas Carrascal ) he explained that the philosophy was based on introducing biodynamic and ecologically produced wines that are good quality but above all  are every day drinking wines ( hence Vin365 ). For this they need wines that are affordable at every day prices.
The company aim to expand their range from the currently available Chilean and Australian ranges and to hold tastings monthly in a social setting to allow the public access to the wines. Having attended an Australian sample tasting earlier in the month where three wines were served with three tapas in the Kerala Restaurant I was invited to the professional tasting of the Chilean range this week.
Some sixteen wines were available to taste from the Porta and Veranda wineries .
My abiding memories of Chilean wine were largely restricted to  fabulous Cabernet Sauvignons from Cousiño Macul, a very Bordeaux style of wine but with lots of fruit. I was particularly interested then to try these wines.
Porta winery vinifies wines from each of the different valleys where they have vineyards separately hoping to express the aspects of the soils and the properties they give to each grape variety. Situated in some of the best valleys guarantees a quality in the wines they believe and each vineyard and variety is planted according to the suitability of the terrain. There are four levels of quality wine produced. Firstly `Winemaker´ where grapes are selected from areas which regularly produce consistent quality. Second is the Reserva range whose wines are more complex in structure and which have spent between 3-4 months in wood. Third is the Select Reserva range, again the grapes are selected from areas of  consistent quality and then spend 12-16 months in French oak to give them balance , structure and concentration. Finally the Gran Reserva range is for wines with good body, mature tannins and concentrated fruit. The wines spend 14-16 months in wood and then a year in bottle before being marketed. The hope is to produce wines which clearly express varietal typicity as well as the vineyards from which they come.
The wines from Veranda are also produced to display the terrain from  which they are produced. Their winemakers have experience of Burgundy and set out to create wines of the highest quality. The vineyards are spread between the Apalta, in the Colchagua valley, 150 km south of Santiago and  the Bio Bio valley 500km south of Santiago.  Pascal Marchan manages the winemaking. A native of Canada he studied in Montreal and Burgundy and has worked in France , Canada and the United States. His wines have been scored highly by Robert Parker on a number of occasions.
First wine was the Casa Porta winemaker Sauvignon Blanc 2008. I found this pale lemon in colour, clean and bright. It showed citrus and gooseberry on the nose and was light and fresh , steely dry then full fat fruit and a long finish. 4.25€ the bottle.
Second was Casa Porter Chardonnay 2009 from the same range. This was also pale lemon, clean and bright with long legs. Light on the nose it displayed some varietal character and a long dry creamy finish. 4.25€ the bottle
Third was the Casa Porta Chardonnay Reserva 2006 with 3-4 months in barrel. Pale yellow , clean and bright there was more fruit on the nose, pineapple dominating and a lively fresh palate with warm fruit and a creamy finish.  6€ the bottle.
Fourth was the Casa Porta Chardonnay Reserva 2007 with 12-16 months in wood. This was yellow, clean and bright . The nose was a little closed and on the palate the fruit was reserved, dry almost flinty acidity then opening out to a long  fruity balanced finish with pineapple and apricots. 7.25€ a bottle
Fifth was the Veranda Chardonnay 2007 from the Casablanca valley. Pale lemon, clear and bright, this had more tropical fruit on the nose, pineapple, melon and citrus, On the palate a lively attack, subtle initially then opening to a warm persistent finish with a little richness. 11.30€ a bottle.
Finally in the whites was the Veranda Sauvignon Blanc 2008. Pale lemon, clear and bright this had a much more expressive nose with citrus, gooseberry and passion fruit. Steely dry, minerally and full, balanced long finish. 11.30€ the bottle.
All the whites certainly had varietal characteristics and where wood had been used it was subtle, adding a little richness, vanilla and toasted flavours rather than changing the wine entirely. A range of pleasant easy drinking whites.
Seventh and first of the reds was Casa Porta Merlot Winemaker 2009. This was bright cherry red with long legs with dry spicy blackcurrant fruit. In the mouth youthful, warm with plenty of woodfruits and a medium finish. A quaffer at 4.25€ the bottle.
Eighth was the Casa Porta Merlot 2006 with 3-4 months in wood. Deep cherry red with youthful violet edge which coated the side of the glass and belied its age. On the nose ripe jammy woodfruit, spicy and complex and on the palate lovely and round, giving way to a long balanced finish and afternotes of chocolate. 6€ the bottle.
Ninth was the Casa Porta Cabernet Sauvignon Winemaker 2009. This was young garnet with a cherry edge. Red dry fruit on the nose gave way to full blackberry flavours in the mouth. Balanced elegant and welll structured with pleasant tannins. 4.25€ the bottle
Next was the Casa Porta Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, 3-4 months in wood. This had good purple fruit and a dark centre, A little leaner on the nose, more minerally and a youthful attack of good blackberry and tannins gave way to a complex long dry finish. 6€ the bottle.
Following this was the Casa Porta Select Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 with 12-16 months in wood. This again was a almost black wine but with long coloured legs. A more subtle spicy complex nose with rich red fruits was followed on the palate with spicy red and wood fruits nuts and cacao. It was well structured complex but not oaky given the time in wood. 7.25€ the bottle.
Twelfth was a Porta Reserva Carmenere 2007 with 3-4months in wood. This originally Bordeaux grape is little used there now having been low yield and susceptible to Phylloxera and therefore not replanted. However it thrived in Chile and produces a good deep purple wine with long legs. A bit more rustic and edgy the nose is quite dry with bitter red fruits although on the palate it displays an altogether fruitier wine with a peppery edge and a long full finish Another quaffer and quite different. At 6€ a bottle well worth the try!
Next was the Veranda Cabernet-Carmenere blend 2006 with 14 months in wood. The exact balance was not made available by the winery but the wine was deep purple with a black centre and an almost cherry edge. The nose was more complex, drier and with a hint of cherry. On the palate a lean Cabernet Sauvignon dominates initially giving over to a long jammy finish. Needs a bit longer but I liked this a lot even at 11.30€ the bottle.
Fourteenth was the Porta Grand Reserva Pinot Noir 2006. This was dark cherry red, fairly closed on the nose but on the palate displaying morello cherry fruit before a long lean earthy finish. 12.95€ the bottle.
Fifteenth was the Veranda Pinot Noir 2007 with 10 months in wood. This was a medium cherry red, More and sweeter fruit on the nose and fruitier, jammy palate with caramel and a round long finish. 11.30€ the bottle.
Finally we tasted the Veranda Oda Pinot Noir 2005 with 12 months in oak. This was medium cherry red with denser long legs. A lean farmyard nose had oak and bitter cherry . On the palate it was lean, complex, very full round mouthful with morello cherry. There was almost a touch of something Italian about the bitterness and this would be perfect with duck. 13.10€ the bottle.
The reds showed well with a good mix of prices and quality. There were plenty of varietal characteristics and well made wine with a balance of everyday quaffing, good quality and even a couple of special occasion wines. A very interesting and rewarding tasting with wines to follow up.
Vin365  wines are available from online and more details including delivery or collection and their Australian range can be found on the website or by e-mail at
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