On Wine and Art, More Valencian Wine Winners and the Occasional Tasting in May 2011.

Inma Amo, Valencian Artist.

May  got off to a slow start, and  with  visitors coming to stay it seemed there may not be much to report on! However in Valencia nothing is ever quiet for very long and a quick flurry of activity in the second half of the month put things back in order!

Bodegas Vicente Gandia have been investing in art, not the first bodega to do so as the link between art and wine is quite vibrant here. They have set up a new space in their Hoya de Cadenas bodega near to Utiel, a `cultural´ space of some 400 square metres, which is effectively a museum. From the 16th it has been possible to visit and see an exhibition of decorated barrels which previously has been on display in the Modern Art Museum in Valencia and Feria ARCO.

Some 21 barrels, individually decorated by Valencian artists have been collected together in the museum which can be visited as part of the tour of the bodega.  The barrels can be seen in four different areas which make up the museum and include some by artists who are currently excluded from social inclusion being residents of the Picassent penitenciary.

One of the artists is Inma Amo, pictured here with her barrel decorated very much in the decorative arts style and for me reminiscent of the work of Bell and Grant at Charleston Farmhouse, home to the Bloomsbury set. The exhibition creates a perfect marriage between the world of art and that of wine, in a unique and original exhibition. It forms part of the tour for visitors to Hoya de Cadenas, one of the busier vineyard visits around Valencia.

More Valencian wines have been winning awards at International fairs in the last month!  First award is from the University Politechnic  of Valencia who have awarded  Chozas Carrascal, owned by the Lopez family and  part of the Primum Bobal association, `Best Bodega of the Valencian Community´.

Chardonnay, freshly pressed during the 2010 Harvest.

Bodegas Finca Collado have been awarded a second prize in just over a month , this time a `baco de bronce´ for their white wine, by the UEC in Madrid in the category for white wines in oak.

At the Brussels Concours Mondial, Utiel-Requena wines have again collected a hatful of awards! For the record these are:-

  • Grand Gold Medal, Corolilla Bobal Reserva 2007 Murviedro

Gold medal, Corolilla Crianza Bobal 2008, Murviedro

Gold Medal, `Cueva de Espera´white 2010 Murviedro

Gold Medal Madurado en Barrica, 2009, 60% Bobal Dominio de la Vega.

Gold Medal, Enterizo reserva,2007, Bobal, Tempranillo and Garnacha, Coviñas

Gold Medal, Cerro Gallina Bobal 2008, Cerro Gallina

Silver Medal, Vega Infante 80º 2004, Bodegas Utielanas

Silver Medal, Ardilla Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Romeral Vinicola

Silver Medal, Ardilla Merlot 2010, Romeral Vinicola

Silver Medal, Ardilla Syrah 2010, Romeral Vinicola

Silver Medal, Ardilla Tempranillo Crianza 2007, Romeral Vinicola

Silver Medal, Aula Syrah Crianza 2007, Coviñas.

Four Cavas from Requena also won medals, a gold for Torre Oria and silvers  for Dominio de la Vega, Murviedro and UVE.

There were also awards at the `Wine and Women Concours´held in Madrid. Entry qualifications include equality in numbers of staff in Wine-making, Administration, Finance and Marketing. In fact both the winners, La Madroñera and Romeral Vinicola have a higher percentage of women working for them! Romeral Vinicola won a Diamond for Castillo de Requena, a Bobal Rosado, 2010; a ruby for the Tempranillo Ardilla and the Merlot Ardilla already mentioned above. La Madroñera won a ruby for their `Constancia´ Crianza 2007 and an `Honourable mention´for their sweet red both of which wines were reviewed in my December post covering Las Añadas de Utiel-Requena.

Out and about there were tastings for the Pedralba Wine Circle who enjoyed wines from Finca Collado, ( Merlot 2009 and Blanco 2010), Magnanimvs Blanco 2010 and Gold top tinto from Mayo Garcia in Vilafames ( Castellon) , Al Vent Rosado 2010 from Coviñas, Viña Calles Tinto Joven 2009 from Vegamar,  the Alvarez Nölting 2006 and a sweet wine Vino de Consagra, San Leandro from the Turis Coop, La baronia. Next month sees their first anniversary meeting!

Che Que Foie and Magnanimvs Blanco.

Las Añadas de España held an almuerzo showing the excellent duck foies from Che Que Foie, the Navarres firm who were such a success  at the Valencia wine and food fair in April. They showed their Foies with orange, figs and carobs which were very well received although one or two felt each of the accompanying flavours could be a little more marked. They were served with toasts with dried grapes and a Carne de Bobal, a reduction of unfermented grape juice. The wine chosen to accompany them was the Magnanimvs Blanco from Mayo Garcia in Castellon.

Vino-Valencia held its monthly meeting in Cuña de Bou, near the old La Fe hospital on Reus. Señorio de Vilafames, 40º Grados Norte and Bodegas Torroja provided the wines for another excellent evening.

Macmillan Publishers, providers of educational support and materials to teachers held one of their regular courses in Alicante at the European School, funded to provide education for children of the employees at the European Patents Office. The course was to provide support for Spanish teachers of English and I was invited to provide one of the sessions. Needless to say the vehicle for delivering lots of unusual English vocabulary was a tasting of wines from Bobal, Merlot, Tardana and Macabeo, all from Valencian bodegas. This was followed by a tutored tasting and a blind tasting competition with prizes awarded for best use of English and best tasting notes. The standard was very high! Thanks to Pago de Tharsys, Dominio de la Vega, Torre Oria, Torroja ( all Utiel-Requena), Daniel Belda ( DO Valencia)  and Finca Collado ( Alicante ) whose distinctive wines were used.

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