Around and About…the Early February 2011 Tastings and the New Releases.

Italian Selection at Las Añadas de España.


   Las Añadas de España kicked off the month with almuerzo, on this occasion a tasting of three Italian meat products, two Italian cheeses and a rioja.

Provided by CBG, a company specializing  in Italian food products we tasted a buffalo milk mozzarella, ( much better with salads and less dry than the sheep’s milk variety which lends itself to pizza) a hard parmesan, perfectly salty, a Coppa de parma – a low-calorie jamon with intense flavour, a Milanese salami from beef and pork, spiced and seasoned then smoked and air-dried, and finally a mortadella from Bologna seasoned principally  with seeds of coriander. The Rioja was a joven Mascarilla 2009 and 13.5% ABV from the bodega of Saenz de Santamaria, in Cenicero. This was a nice plum red of medium density, and with long legs. Plums and morello cherries on the nose were also evident in the mouth where there was full, jammy fruit, a smooth wine with a good finish. An easy drinker but sadly currently out of stock which  sells for around 4€!

Next up was a tasting led by Norbert Korsmeier and Juanjo Gonzalez of VinsKM.o in Russafa and Cuvée 3000 respectively. As it is that time of year and countries are selecting their entries and artists this was billed as a Eurovision tasting and looked at six wines from across Europe.


Tasting at Vins KM.0.

   First wine was a white Burgundy, a chardonnay from Macon Fuissé, and the Burrier family from Chateau de Beuregard.

Golden yellow in colour, brilliant , clear and bright with long legs, the nose developed slowly showing first apple, then butter as the 8 months on the lees showed their effect and a nice gentle toasty scent. In the mouth unctuous with good acidity, minerally with some citrus fruit and a long dry satisfying finish. A good example and around 14€ the bottle.
Next was a Kunstler Chardonnay 2009 from the Rheingau in Germany. 14% ABV and sekt ( dry) this was pale gold in comparison, bright and clean and with long slow legs. On the nose lighter but still with a hint of tropical fruit, mango, and in the mouth quite minerally from the shale in the vineyards, but also fruity nice and fresh , young but with good power. Around 16€ the bottle.
Third wine was a Navarra from Northern Spain. Nekeas 2009 and 14% ABV is a pure Garnacha from 80-year-old vines. Bright cherry red in colour, very long legs and medium density with a carmine edge. On the nose concentrated boiled fruit sweets and whilst initially dry in the mouth, it was complex with a hint of minerals and cloves. Good value at under 6€ a bottle.
Fourth wine was an Alonso Quijano tinto from the Douro valley in Portugal.

Bottles from the Eurovision Tasting.

   Ruby red with a cherry edge, deep and with long legs. From Tourigo Nacional and Tinto Ruiz, the nose was full of concentrated red and black fruit, complex and aromatic with a hint of violets. The wine has spent 6 months in French oak and in the mouth was nice and fruity, creamy and with a long satisfying finish.  At around 13%ABV and from 2007 it sells for 16€ a bottle.
Back to France and Burgundy again for the fifth wine, this time a Bourgogne Pinot Noir from Domaine Confuron-Contetidot of Vosne-Romanée. A 2008 of 12.5% ABV.
This was a light to medium cherry red with long legs. On the nose morello cherries fresh with hints of violets and nutmeg. In the mouth light with good acidity , the alcohol well-integrated and although fuller than a lot of wines from this type still quite astringent in the finish.
It sells for around 19€ and would be a match for good soft Northern French cheeses,  goats cheeses from Southern France or even a good match for pigeon in a chocolate sauce. This was only bottled in september and will last 5-6 years comfortably.

Wines from Alvarez Nolting at the Hipercor tasting.

  Final wine was a biodynamic Tuscan red from Sangiovese, San Cristoforo Carandelle 2008 at 13% ABV.
A medium deep ruby-red this also had long legs. On the nose red fruits, sweet cherries and fresh. In the mouth it was unexpectedly elegant. Normally a rustic rough red this was a revelation! Deep concentrated fruit, smoky with chocolate and coffee cream notes. A very impressive wine which could get me interested in Sangiovese again!
All the wines from this interesting tasting are available from Vins KM.0 in Maestro José Serrano in the Russafa district of central Valencia .
Hipercor continued with their cycle of tastings from Bodegas across the community this time inviting Bodegas Alvarez Nolting to show three wines.
The Bodega only launched their first wine in 2004 but the reputation of their wines has grown steadily.
Led by Oscar, the enologist at the bodega we looked first at a new wine, a riesling Vino de Hielo from a plot of vines in Fontanars. A DO Valencia of 12.5%ABV this is a very small production from a very small yield. The grapes are harvested very mature by hand in small boxes and transported into the bodega in a refrigerated lorry where they are kept until the harvest is complete.
Pale lemon, clean and bright the wine needs a little time to open out. When it does it is young, fresh with white flowers on the nose. In the mouth it is fresh, warm and has hints of whitecurrant fruit, sweet and dry and nicely balance. For me, as with the Belda riesling from the same area it does not need chilling to enjoy it at it´s best.
Second wine was the 2007  Syrah which is 85% Syrah, the rest being a balance of  Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. A medium to deep dark cherry red with a marked carmine edge this looked young with long slow legs. On the nose jammy red fruits, sweet spices, creamy oak and in the mouth, young and tannic, meaty, full of flavour and complex. Needs time but scored a very healthy 91 points in the Penin guide!
Third wine was the Alvarez Nolting ( the name bequeathed by the original but now deceased German owner ) a 2006 from Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon , DO Valencia and 13% ABV. This is the flagship wine from the bodega and a deep cherry red colour with a mature touch of garnet at the edge. On the nose red and black mature fruit and tannic with a nice structure , meaty complex and spicy  in the mouth. It has an astringent long finish in the style of a good reserva and needs big food to match it. It scored 92 points in the Penin guide.
The Jaraguas bodega Pedro Moreno has been releasing new wines onto the market and the Vilamarxant wine club tried three over lunch on Sunday. First up was the 100% Bobal Rosado at 14% ABV. This is a nice deep strawberry rose colour with good legs. On the nose it is fresh and creamy, meaty and really quite powerful for a Rosado. In the mouth the fruit and acidity are nicely balanced , a nice easy drinker for the summer if a little fuller in flavour than some!  Also tasted was the Pino Los Quintos from the same bodega, 2007, Syrah and 14% ABV. Deep garnet in colour with long slow legs, immediately fruity on the nose with sweet cherries, mature damson and plums and a hint of smoke. In the mouth smooth tannins, and a nice hint of liquorice. Finally the 2009 Bobal Tinto del Moreno from 80-year-old vines and 14.5% ABV is a bright purple colour, deep with a blue edge. On the nose full on red and black fruit and liquorice. In the mouth, still quite tannic but with full berry fruit and a long satisfying finish. ( All ar DO Utiel-Requena). Normally selling for around 5€ a bottle these are available in Alcampo on offer at present with a `free´bottle of Rosado with every bottle of the tinto purchased making them a very reasonable 2.5€ each. Hurry hurry hurry!
Finally Coviñas have released their 100% Bobal rosado Enterizo onto the market, a wine which has already been named as best 2010 rosado by the DO. tasting panel. The 2009 also an award winner was a firm favourite last summer so the 2010 has a bit to live up to. No problem! Full of the same strawberry and cream fruit flavours and balanced with a lovely acidity. This needs a couple more months in bottle but will be a great summer drinker and will contrast nicely with the fuller Pedro Moreno Rosado.
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