Around and About the Tastings and New Releases…January 2011.

Valencia has been basking in unusually warm temperatures with lots of sunshine until the last weekend. In fact the average daily temperature has been five degrees warmer than the norm tempting bumble bees out to find nectar and wine lovers to find what has been on offer in the city. Even this week the sudden plummeting temperatures which generally follow the respective Saints days of Anthony the Abbot and Vicent the Martyr have not stopped the tastings.

Flor de Clotàs and Clotàs at the bodega.


   Most important tasting of the month was that organised by Vino-Valencia in Deli-Rant, a restaurant and Delicatessen just off the Calle de Paz. The event was chosen by Vicente Flors Marti to launch his new wine Flor de Clotàs from Bodega Flors in Les Useres in Castellon. Also given a pitch were new Bodega Vinessens from Villena in DO Alicante whose first promotion in Valencia of their Seins 2008 this was, and the excellent Olivastro 2008, a pure bobal from Bodegas Carres of Casas de Eufemia near Requena. A very successful night gave the 60 participants an opportunity to compare  all three new bodegas, a great statement about the emerging talent in the Valencian wine-producing community!

Also new to the  market amongst releases was an exciting new white from the family Bodega of Vicente Soucase whose vineyards are in the Turis area, part of the Valentino district of DO Valencia.

Alturia 2010 Seleción Especial at 11% ABV is a blend of 50% Moscatel, and 25% each of Merseguera and Malvasia, grapes traditional in the area. The presentation was held in the HQ of DO Valencia on Calle Quart and attracted much media attention as well as support from the Club de Enofilos.

Alturia 2010

The family is three generations strong in winemaking and use the nearby Buñol bodega of Viñas del Portillo, a modern facility, for vinification and bottling. They are already strong in the export market and it is felt this wine will appeal particularly to the English market. They are working with the British Retail Consortium  to achieve an opening in the UK.

Pale lemon, clean and bright with good legs. Fresh clean youthful nose, predominantly apricot from the moscatel on the nose with white flowers. In the mouth the wine passes easily across the palate. Light and fresh initially with a steely minerally touch from the Merseguera and lovely ripe fruit from the Moscatel the wine is balanced by the Malvasia which rounds it out, giving a long warm satisfying finish with sufficient depth to marry it with white meat, pasta as well as seafood and arroces. A versatile wine and one to watch out for…..I wouldn´t be surprised to see it win a prize this year.

Also showing their new 2010 Lasdosces was Bodegas Chozas Carrascal, another fresh white from Sauvignon Blanc and Macabeo, recently bottled and needing just a little more time in bottle to show at it´s best. This was at the launch of Wook, a cooperation between architect, designers, photographers and  Va-Vive caterers which was held in the Russafa Sports Club now given over to a design centre.

Las Añadas de España also commenced their almuerzos again this week with a tasting of Salcichon de Vic and Salcichon de Payes from the Vic ( Cordoba) firm of Riera Ordeix.

Salcichon from Reira Ordeix.

   These traditional air-dried sausages have been made by the same process for 120 years. The factory is in the centre of town contained in a number of houses on the central market square although the visitor would be unaware that 60 feet above them thousands of sausages were gently drying!

Made from pancetta from 4-5 year old pigs which has more flavour and is more tender the Salcichons are free from gluten and other chemical products giving a natural, healthy product with flavour and depth. They have Indication of Geographical Protection ( IGP) status .  We tried both with  natural artesan breads and grated tomato washed down with a DO Mentrida, Tres Patas 2007 a pure Garnacha with lovely cherry colour and black fruit and bitter  cherry jam flavours and a long satisfying finish.

Finally the Pedralba Wine Circle, a group of friends who meet monthly to try wines from the Valencian community, held its 8th tasting. Each month the intention is to find  wines from  across the grape varieties, styles of wine and the different Valencian DO´s.

This months tastings included the new Riesling 2009 from Belda, Vera de Estenas Blanco 2009 ( a very expressive white from Macabeo and Chardonnay), Vegalfaro´s Rosado from 2009,( a blend of Merlot and Bobal with a good body ), Dominio de Calles Edición Especiál Cava,DO and three reds. Clotàs 2008 the big brother of the new wine from Bodegas Flors, Cueva 2007 Seleción Barrica from the La Portera bodega and Olivastro from Bodega Carres. This was followed by the Vino Dulce, Bobal from Bodegas Torroja an excellent Vino de Liquor also from DO Utiel-Requena.

There is one more big tasting this month and then February beckons! I feel 2011 could be a good year!

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