Bodega Finca Collado; The New Wine Releases…a VÍ vid Tasting!!!!!


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Since first encountering the wines of Bodega Finca Collado in 2009, one of the biggest highlights of each subsequent year has been the first tasting of their new wines !

Last Saturday night VÍ vid was delighted to accept an invitation to taste four new releases which will hit the market very shortly.

The Bodega has produced a consistent, and consistently good and popular, white wine since 2008. As the years have progressed the vines have matured and the wine with it! 2014 was a difficult year for the bodega with the long, hot, dry summer and the total lack of rain for the best part of twelve months. The harvest was well down on the normal level as a result but the grapes were healthy and the quality was exceptional.

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The Finca Collado Blanco is a blend of Chardonnay and Moscatel, the former matured for about three months in oak and in contact with the lees whilst the moscatel is fermented in stainless steel. Normally the blend is around 50/50 but can vary depending on the natural acidity or residual sugars in each variety as well as the alcohol content ( which can vary by as much as a degree year on year between 12-13º) . It is a fresh wine whilst young, very versatile with food and has a good ageing potential.

The 2014 is being described as the best ever produced despite the difficulties mentioned above…a big claim given that the 2013 was exceptional! ( I say `was´ because this wine sells out long before Xmas each year!)

In September we had been invited to join the harvest ( and cook the traditional lunch!) so there was special resonance in going back to taste the finished wine!

New wines awaiting lables!

New wines awaiting lables!

In colour the tasting notes match those of every previous vintage I have tried. The wine is a pale golden colour with green and gold flashes which reflect the period the Chardonnay has spent in oak ( in fact the two months oak this year is the shortest period to date.) . It is very clean, bright and has long legs and  at 13%ABV it is at the higher end.

The nose is at first restrained, it has not long been bottled, but with oxygenation the first fruit emerges…banana. This is generally a good sign that  the acidity is correct. Then slowly the apricot, not quite as marked as in the past and then a little tropical fruit ( pineapple). Lychee is often also found on the nose of this wine but I think that comes with evolution in bottle so we will have to wait and see!

The white awaiting despatch!

The white awaiting despatch!

In the mouth the acidity is perfect and the wine passes easily, filling the mouth with fruit and a solid structure. It is a big , round mouthful which persists with a very well-balanced , long finish. There are hints of orange peel in the aftertaste and this is a wine which clearly has a good potential for ageing.

So much so in fact, that discussion turned to the possibility of repeating a vertical tasting of the whites from 2014 back to 2009 ( which may be feasible if one or two private cellars can be `robbed´ of their treasures!)

As we enjoyed a humus with fresh peppers, carrot and pita bread and melba toasts with piquillo peppers and bonito thoughts turned to the Rosado.

The Rosado has not been produced since the bodega opened, making its debut in 2011. It is traditionally made from the free run juice of the first selection of Merlot grapes. Over the intervening years the colour has been the source of some discussion and its depth simply reflects the difficulty in predicting how long to leave the juice in contact with the skins. This can vary also on the time it takes to harvest the grapes.

The Rosado, Vibrant!

The Rosado, Vibrant!

This year the colour is an enticing vibrant strawberry with a blue edge as the photograph shows. It also has long legs with 11.5% ABV.

On the nose ( and bear in mind the wine had been bottle just  2-3 days earlier) the nose was more pronounced than you might have expected…..lollipop, bubble gum and strawberry fruit!

In the mouth the wine shows all the aspects you would expect but is refined. The fruit is subtle and the acidity fresh leading to a long,  dry finish with minerality. This wine always reflects most of all the very special and varied soils in this valley above the old salt lagoon.

 

The Syrah.

The Syrah.

Totally new to the bodega is the Finca Collado Syrah 2014 Joven. This started as an exercise in making a wine for a private client who buys regularly from  the bodega and who wanted a wine with his personal lable. Suffice to say the experiment has been a huge success and a limited amount of over-production which the bodega has bottled with its own lables will disappear very quickly!!!!

Syrah is a wonderful grape, when produced properly it can produce wines when young which demonstrate very clearly the  characteristics of the variety and when aged ( 30-40 years are possible) can demonstrate a silky, velvety richness. For me some of the best young syrahs are those produced around  the Crozes Hermitage and the older wines from Cote Rotie and Hermitage in the Northern Rhone valley of France.

For me this young wine would stand very good comparison with the young wines from Crozes Hermitage. Deep black cherry with long legs reflecting the 15%ABV.

On the nose the wine is full of red and black cherry, guindas ( cherries preserved in alcohol) clove, chocolate, liquorice. When first opened it reeks of cherry and chocolate but with time in glass the wine evolves through spice until the liquorice dominates!

In the mouth it is young, fresh but very big, full of black fruit, very round and dangerously easy to drink!It is a wine to drink cool on a summer’s evening in company. Oh, and it matches perfectly with both jamon or white cheese  with truffle incorporated ( Pecorino from Italy) … the fruit, the acidity and the truffle being a marriage made in heaven!!!

he Bodega´s Presses.

he Bodega´s Presses.

The last wine in this tasting is the long-awaited Finca Collado Monastrell 2012. Alicante is famed for its Monastrell and makes a wide variety of wines, the most famous being the long aged `Fondillon´.

It is another variety which when it shows its true characteristics is a joy to drink. This wine has spent 12 months on the lees in 300 litre new oak barrels and is drawn from grapes from old vines, grown in the Vinalopo valley close to the salt lagoon in Salinas.

It is a complex wine, again very deep in colour . It too is around 14.5%ABV, reflected in the time  its slow developing glycerinous legs take to develop!

On the nose it too is complex, almost sweet to start with, but with a mixture of spices, balsamicos and finally hints of leaf-mould and truffle. In the mouth it is rich, ripe , full with ripe fruit and and an incredibly long full finish. It matched very well with an orange /blue cheese ….it was a Shropshire Blue from England!!!! It also went well with lamb meatballs though less so with tomato sauce but is excellent with dark chocolate.

Prices at the bodega for the white, rosado and syrah will be around 6€ a bottle. The Monastrell will be around 15€ a bottle….worth every last centimo!!! The jamon and cheeses and some excellent sweet piquillo peppers came from the Vinoteca Quiero y Productos Gourmets  in nearby Salinas, also a source of excellent ibericos and salazones!!

Cheese Selection.

Cheese Selection.

This flagship bodega continues to provide  consistent wines but winemaker Joan Guia Conca is now developing an experimental nature which is paying off with new wines which will rank amongst the best from DO Alicante and Valencia. VÍ vid cannot wait to show all four wines at forthcoming tastings!!!

VÍ vid and a very special selection of new wines!

VÍ vid and a very special selection of new wines!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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