International Wine Challenge Awards for Wines from Valencia and Utiel-Requena, a Tasting of Wines from Bodegas Enguera and Breakfast at Las Añadas!


The International Wine Challenge lable added to Winning Wine Bottles.

   April has been recovery month after the wine fair! A little light entertainment here and there, the odd tasting at Hipercor and breakfast at Las Añadas has been sufficient ( oh and there was a tasting for the Pedralba Wine circle and one of the best Vino-Valencia evenings yet!)

Today the wires have been active with press releases from DO Valencia and DO Utiel-Requena announcing winners of awards at the International Wine Challenge in Bordeaux. Depending on whom you believe there were between 4,500 and 5,000 wines submitted from around 35-38 countries and anything between 768 and 900 tasters decided which wines deserved the medals.What is not in doubt is that between them 18 serious awards went to wines from the two controlling bodies, no less than 14 of them to Bodegas Murviedro who continue to receive international recognition for their efforts under technical director and enologist Pablo Ossorio. For the record the awards to DO Valencia are as follows:-

  • Murviedro Estrella Frizzante Rosado 2009
  • Alba de Murviedro Blanco 2010
  • Estrella de Murviedro Dulce Rosado
  • Silver; Murviedro Vega Libre 2007
  • Bronzes; Murviedro Cueva del Pecado 2007
  • Murviedro Estrella Frizzante Blanco 2010
  • Rosa de Murviedro 2010,
  • Estrella de Murviedro Blanco Dulce,
  • Anecoop, Amatista 2010 Frizzante Blanco ( Cheste Agraria )
  • Viñamas tinto 2009 ( La Viña)
  • Casa L´Angel tinto 2008 ( La Viña)
  • Palacio del Conde Gran Reserva 2004 ( La Viña) .   

DO Utiel-Requena won the following awards:-

  • Gold; Viña Decano Reserva 2005 ( Coviñas)
  • Bronzes;  Ardilla   2010 Romeral Vinicola
  • Dominio de la Vega 2009 Madurado en Barrica
  • Aula Syrah Crianza 2007 Coviñas, and
  • Murviedro Corolillo Reserva 2007.


Hipercor continued its cycle of  tastings  from Valencia, Alicante and Utiel-Requena with a tasting of wines from Bodegas Enguera who have vineyards split between Enguera and Fontanares.  Four wines were tasted at the Saturday morning session from this bodega seeking ecological status. First was the 2010 Blanc D´Enguera, a 13%ABV blend of Verdil, Viognier and Chardonnay. Straw in colour, clean and bright with gold flashes, two months crianza in French oak gives this wine a nose with white flowers, tropical fruits, (pineapple) melon and cream, fresh. In the mouth powerful and intense, fat and with a lovely balance, a long elegant full finish.

Alvaro de Nieves Toledo , Enologist.

Second was the first of the reds, `Dis-tinto´2009 and 13.5%ABV. A blend of 50% each of Tempranillo and Syrah with five months crianza in second filling caucasian oak barrels and served chilled. Nice density, deep dark cherry colour, with long slow legs. On the nose red fruits, ripe, plums vanilla and strawberry. In the mouth fresh, easy drinker, with good fruit.

Megala was a favourite last Autumn, but sadly my stock is all drunk up! The 2008 is 14%ABV and a blend of 50% each of Monastrell and Syrah with fourteen months in French oak. A very similar colour to the first red, on the nose much more concentrated, plums, damsons and mature with notes of tobacco. In the mouth tannic with cacao, concentrated with a hint more of the wood and vanillas.

Last up was Sueño de Megala 2006 with twenty-four months in French oak, a blend of 50% Tempranillo and 25% each of Merlot and Monastrell. Again a similar colour but showing a bit of garnet on the edge from ageing. On the nose a hint of mint, black fruits, plums and jammy with a hint of clove. In the mouth smooth, complex, well-balanced with  a long fruity finish.

Cheese from Queseria de Los Corrales.

Another fascinating tasting in this long series.

Las Añadas de España held another of its almuerzos this time matching five cheeses from Valencia ( goat and sheep ) from Queseria Los Corrales of Almedijar in Castellon. This proved to be an excellent selection of cheeses which was matched perfectly on all counts with the 2010 Sybarus Tardana from Bodegas Torroja.

Tronchon, a typical Castellon cheese with three months curing, Peña Blanca a beautiful salty sheeps cheese and particularly the Suave Sierra de Espedan, very smooth with bifidus and recommended for digestion were accompanied by an Extramuros and a Queso de Cabra. This was probably one of the best cheese tastings and the most perfect wine match so far achieved. At 5.80€ the Tardana from Utiel-Requena is a superb dry minerally white with sufficient body to cope with all styles comfortably! Loved it!


For the record Vino-Valencia hosted their event in the highly recommended La Querencia restaurant in Pelayo, a small street in the chinese quarter near Xativa station. Clever tapas accompanied three well mixed wines, Melic from CataRuz, Venta del Puerto from the award-winning La Viña Coop from Font de la Figuera and Viña Castaro Crianza from San Antonio in Utiel-Requena. Full details and tasting notes at as well as  details of the forthcoming May event. In the end nearly 20 attendees stayed to enjoy the meal accompanied by the three wines all of which showed a versatility matching perfectly with wild mushrooms cooked with cheese; jamon, eggs and chips and a  Novillo of Argentine steak which was so, so  tender.  

This is the second time I have recommended this restaurant which is now top of my favourites list in Valencia.

And what does the rest of the month hold? A trip to Falset and Porrera in DO Priorat near Tarragona to taste some much more expensive wines and see how they compare value for quality with those from Valencia!







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