Around and About the later October Tastings in Valencia.

The second half of the month opened with Almuerzo in Las Añadas on this occasion a tasting of products from Conservas Artésanos Rosara from Navarra in Northern Spain.

Almuerzo in Las Añadas

 Here, on the banks of the River Ebro grow some of the best produce in Spain, thanks to the fertility of the soil and the local climate. Artésanos Rosaro apply a hand made approach to their share of the manufacture of their produce, peeling vegetables by hand for example and using neither  preservatives nor colourings  and cooking over wood where necessary.  The plate shows cherry peppers stuffed with delicate fillings of cheese or  bonito which had a nice gentle bite of heat, a cold salad of lentils and octopus with its contrast of textures, a cream of marisco with a hint of crab at it´s base and one of vegetables, like an old style broth, and pepper stuffed with mushrooms in an apple sauce. This was accompanied by Gran Juve Camps, a superb cava.

Las Añadas also held a tasting of wines from the current offers list on the 25th. Members of their club are invited to occasional tastings and dinners at which prestigious bodegas and suppliers present their products.

This tasting was an opportunity for another extended look at Las Añadas wide ranging selection of wines with fourteen on show on the evening. First up on the night was Naia 2009 a verdejo from Rueda. Pale lemon in colour, clean and bright with long legs. On the nose apple, herbs and citric touches. In the mouth fresh, fruity, easy to drink with a nice finish.8.10€ the bottle.                                                                                                                                                                   

Dora Birindelli and Riki Wigley, the new Vino-Valencia team, at Las Añadas.

 Second white was Don Olegario 2009 a DO Rias Baixas ( Galicia ) from the Albariño grape selling at 11.5€ the bottle. Yellow with golden flashes, clean and bright with long legs. On the nose white flowers and delicate tropical notes. In the mouth seductive with a nicely balanced finish.

Next we tried a crianza Chardonnay from DO Montsant, Mas de Carol 2008. This had spent five months in new French oak. As a result the wine presents gold in colour with  golden flashes, clean and  bright. On the nose a touch of citrus, nice oak and creamy toasty scents with hints of vanilla. In the mouth creamy, smooth, but a long slightly unbalanced acid finish 9.95€ a bottle.

No complaints about the next Chardonnay from one of  Burgundies bigger but better negociants, Louis Latour. The 200 anniversary 2008 from the Chalonnaise district is a text book French chardonnay to my mind what others should aim to copy! From 25 year old vines this has aged 12 months in stainless steel. Yellow gold, clean, bright and with a fresh floral nose with citrus. In the mouth full and creamy but with a lovely balance. Real style at 12.30€ a bottle.

The only cava on the list was the Vera de Estenas DO Cava from Requena. One of my favourites this is straw yellow,clean and  very bright with persistent bubbles. Fresh on the nose with citrus and good toasty yeasts and flowers. In the mouth good fresh  acidity,   full and nice fruit.

Bottles from the Las Añadas tasting

First red on the night was a Señorio de P Peciña 2009, a DO Rioja joven from 95% Tempranillo with the `seasoning´coming from Garnacho and Graciano. A very young looking vibrant cherry red and quite spiky young fruit on the nose. In the mouth light and flavourful, a good easy drinking quaffer at just 3.95€ a bottle.
Barely more serious was the Ars in Vitro 2006, a DO Navarro from Bodegas Tandem at 4.95€ a bottle. Another joven style wine which this time has had a couple of years crianza in concrete tanks. A spiky dark cherry with lots of red and black fruits including blackberry and bitter cherry. Nicely balanced with a good finish.
Ferrer Bobet 2007 is a DOQ Priorat from Cariñena and Garnacha, with a  12 month crianza in new French oak. An intense medium cherry red colour, spicy nose with minerals whilst in the mouth the wine is powerful and concentrated, creamy oak and balsamic notes at the end. Altogether more serious at 23.20€ a bottle.
Pintia 2006 is a DO Toro from the Tinta de Toro variety ( tempranillo). Aged in old French and American oak the wine is morello cherry in colour, with a ruby edge and long legs. On the nose, sweet red cherry, mature black fruits and immense concentration. On the palate silky, smooth and powerful with a long minerally finish.                                                                                                                                       

Vilamarxant Wine Club members at Las Añadas.

Numanthia 2000 also a DO Toro from Tinto de Toro ( Tempranillo) sells for 29.80€ a bottle. This is a plum red with long legs. On the nose red fruits mingle in a complex vanilla, minerally mix. On the palate there is  a slightly vegetal start, quite strong tannin, oak and coffee. Unusual, but I warmed to it!
The Marques de Riscal 2005 DO Rioja Reserva is a classic wine of it´s type. Buy this and you instantly know what you are getting….a classic old style rioja. From 90% Tempranillo with 10% of graciano and Mazuelo this has spent 22 months ageing in American oak. Ruby red with a terracotta edge it is a wine of medium density with long legs. On the nose complex jammy fruit, oak, vanilla and tobacco and in the mouth all those flavours with smooth tannins and coffee. Classic!
New to me was Dominio de Atauta 2006 DO Ribera del Duero also 100% Tempranillo with 15-20 months in French oak.  Spiky red, deep in density and quite brilliant colour. Intense red fruits, concentrated, spicy notes and intense on the nose. On the palate well balanced , meaty, well structured with jam and smooth tannins. A very nice wine at 23.30€ a bottle.
A Vin de Tierra de Castilla y León, Cenit 2005 also from 100% Tempranillo was the thirteenth wine of the night and sells at 31.90€ a bottle. Plum red with deep density and long legs this has concentrated black cherry jam on the nose, spice, oak and minerals. In the mouth concentrated, silky smooth , chocolate, and just a wonderful wine!  Finally at this tasting we returned to DO Rioja for the Artadi Pagos Viejos 2006 a mysterious 99% Tempranillo! Also aged in French oak, this is morello cherry in colour, very deep with long very slowly developing legs . Apart from a touch of the farmyard on the nose it seemed quite closed to me although later there were hints of vanilla and coffee from the wood. In the mouth it was full, strong, good fruit emerging with smooth tannins and a long finish. Just as well at  49.90€ a bottle!
Maria José leads us through the Chozas Carrascal tasting.

Hipercor, the El Corte Ingles superstore has also started it´s cycle of Valencian wine tastings on Saturday mornings in association with vinos valencianos, DO Alicante, DO Utiel Requena and DO Valencia with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food. Over the next six months or so they will invite a bodega a week to show four wines at a tutored tasting. Yesterday was the turn of Chozas Carrascal which I visited and wrote about in August this year ( see earlier post) .  A bodega with a mission to make distinct styled wines of quality the tasting was led by owner and daughter ( both Maria José ) both extremely knowledgeable and capable of making it an enjoyable occasion for amateurs and professionals alike.

We started with the Cava Reserva Brut Nature from Chardonnay and Macabeo with a minimum 21 months in bottle on the lees. The structure for this wine comes from the chardonnay which was fermented in barrel and the acidity from the macabeo. Both are in absolute harmony, this a cava for food as well as celebration having abundant structure, fine bubbles, beautiful balance and an elegance derived from the elaboration process.
Las Tres 2009 is new to the market replacing the previous vintage, and what a wine it is. Pale yellow with green flashes , clean and bright to the eye on the nose white flowers, citrus and tropical fruits, fennel from the macabeo, vanilla and honey. The wine is blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Macabeo. In the mouth intense, aromatics from the Sauvignon, freshness and acidity from the macabeo and length and power from the chardonnay, the latter derived from the batonnage in oak. Silky smooth with abundant fruit this wine is going into my cellar very soon but may not last long there!
The new vintage Las Ocho, 2007, a blend of eight red varieties chosen annually by proportion depending on the harvest conditions and maturity of each variety, is a very intense ruby red, with violet edge and plenty of colour on the glass. After 14 months in oak it was still a little closed on the nose but opened out with spices and was quite complex. In the mouth it is meaty, chewy, spicy with hints of red pepper sweetness and black fruits. Very intense and one to put away for a while.
Finally we tasted the new vintage of the flagship wine, the Cabernet Franc 100% from the 2008 vintage. I have some of the 2007 cellared, following my last visit to the bodega. The 2008 is different. Paler and less intense than the 2007, the 2008 has very little on the nose initially and takes some time to open out and hint at what might be there later. As a result it is a minerally, quite lean wine initially but then you have to remember that the characteristics of this wine are an initially dry wine with later intense raspberry fruit in youth and a smoothness later on. It is clearly well balanced and a wine to put away for a vertical comparison in a few years time.
November looks busy already with two tastings and breakfast lined up for next week, hopefully also a visit to Alicante to the gourmet fair and a couple of bodega visits pencilled in. Someone has to do it!
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