Monthly Archives: March 2015

…Arise Nodus! Finca El Renegado Undergoes a Re-branding

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In July last year VÍ vid visited Bodegas de Utiel, Finca El Renegado.( )  It was the tenth bodega visit of our newly formed `colectivo´and our workload had been steadily building up over the previous year.

The wines from the Bodega were well-known to us and had a good reputation both locally, within Valencia and abroad and we reported on some of the developments in the pipeline.

It was a great pleasure therefore to be invited back on Thursday March 26 for a presentation of that progress, to see the refurbishment of the former tasting suite, offices, new deposits and to find out how the various marketing themes had developed. All of this is ahead of a ( by invitation)  presentation to the hostelry trade and distributors next week in Valencia´s Las Arenas hotel.


Marketing Team at Nodus.

Management, Technical. Marketing and Distribution Team at Nodus.

The presentation was to a varied group from the world of communications and marketing, reflecting what a diverse profession it has become with new technology developments. The traditional local ( Levante and Las Provincias) and national  `newspaper´(El Mundo) press, on-line digital weekly reviews ( La Semana Vitivinicola) , marketing specialists, DO Utiel-Requena´s press and communications officer, Radio and TV reporters  and bloggers  had been invited along with specialist niche representatives handling direct promotions through tastings etc such as ourselves.

We started our tour in the old bodega area where we had been told last year that work would start after the harvest concluded to increase the number of deposits the bodega has for the fermentation and storage of wine. From here we inspected the bottling line and it was here we first encountered the new logo…of which more later.

Cabernet Franc in the Vineyards.

Cabernet Franc in the Vineyards.

Then we went on a tour through the vineyards, something we had not been able to do last year…at this time of year the pruned vines, all trained `en espaldera´ stand-out starkly against the red soils which mark out DO Utiel-Requena. `Brotación´, or budding, is still at least a month away but the evidence of the recent heavy rains could easily be seen, the ground heavy with water and with no shortage of white flower topped wild rocket, the regions most prolific  weed and the 9 seater monovolumen had difficulty negotiating the sandy tracks!

Nonetheless under a giant Carrasca tree, a small leafed type of oak, which has great form and shape we enjoyed an aperitif of the bodega´s Cava in the company of Adolfo De las Heras, father and son, as well as the bodega´s marketing team and technical director and talked of the varieties grown and the bodega´s different `trademarks´ in the March sun.

Adolfo De Las Heras, father and son

Adolfo De Las Heras, father and son

When we returned to the nucleus of buildings it was for the more formal presentation.

Although`Nodus´ is the trademark of the bodega´s top wines it has produced other wines under the Los Capellanes and Actum lables. Nonetheless it has been the Nodus name by which the bodega has become best known, not just in Valencia but in its export markets as well. The bodegas´s owners and marketing team had come to recognise this and the first major change is that this will replace ` Bodegas de Utiel, Finca el Renegado´ as the name by which it will become known.


With it comes a new set of lables with common backgrounds and colour coded Title and Capsules depending on the wine within the bottle. This had been tested, whilst the rebuilding work had been going on,  in wine-fairs at home and overseas and the new artwork etc has generally been received positively.

The other trademarks will continue but their lables will undergo modernisation in the coming months.

The old offices and tasting room which doubled up as an entertainment area complete with barbecue have been modernised and a shop added. Still planned are a new warehouse and barrel storage area and improvements to the casa rural/hotel are still in the planning stages.

The Old Dining Room

The Old Dining Room

The  arrangements which have seen Avensport, from nearby Venta del Moro ( an outdoor pursuits company ) continuing with their usage of the apartments and accommodation have been added to with the provision of specialist catering by `Yantar´ the towns fusion restaurant. They will provide catering for events and almuerzos for bodega visits and tours etc.

On this occasion we were treated to a lunch showing off some of this modern style of catering, starters of mackerel in a creamy sauce served with a pesto, salmon marinated in beetroot juice and lime, ajoarriero, foie in a crunchy mix and venison served in a stew amongst other dishes such as more traditional home-made desserts, ( tarts and flans) .

`Caballa´ with Pesto

`Caballa´ with Pesto

With this we tried the Chardonnay 2014 and the Tinto de Autor 2012 with its four varieties.

It has taken 10 years for the Nodus trademark to reach this level of importance to the Caudete de las Fuentes located bodega with its 200 hectares of vineyards and 300 more of mediterranean forest . Monday will see that launch formally to the hotel trade where the old Nodus and other brands were well-known and received. we have no doubt this progressive step will have been worth the effort, the  wines themselves are not affected by the change of labelling and there is little doubt that in the hands of the current team the quality of wines will only improve.


VÍ vid has no doubt that we will continue to show them at tastings and look forward to our part in their future promotion!

VÍ vid at Nodus

VÍ vid at Nodus





Pedralba Wine Club Reaches its 50th Tasting!!!

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The Pedralba Wine Club was born on 9 June 2010. Following an invitation to give a talk to the Annual  General Meeting of the Pedralba International Society ( SAIP) the previous month. SAIP had been set up by a group of residents of Pedralba in order to aid integration and adjustment to a new life for many newcomers from different parts of Europe.

Following the meeting a number of members asked whether a tasting could be organised to illustrate the talk they had just heard and this was  held in the towns Casa Cultural.

The meeting began with an introduction to tasting techniques but with the comment also that tasting wine is ultimately an enjoyable experience! The tasting that followed was of the following eight wines:-

Torre Oria Blanco 2009 Macabeo, DOUtiel-Requena.

Daniel Belda Blanco Tendencia 2009, Verdil/Moscatel DO Valencia.

Coviñas Enterizo Rosado 2009, Bobal, DO Utiel-Requena.

Daniel Belda Rosat, Merlot 2009 , DO Valencia.

Bodegas Vegamar, Viña America, 2006 Crianza Tempranillo/Syrah DO Valencia.

Dominio de la Vega Bobal Madurado en Barrica 2009 DO Utiel-Requena

La Cartuja Viacoeli Moscatel Mistela, Coop Cheste, DO Valencia

Vi Dolç, Santa Barbara Coop, Casinos DO Valencia.

Three wines stood out at the tasting and members have continued drinking them ever since!

Firstly the Macabeo from Torre Oria which, in 2009 , was a particularly good example of the wine produced from this variety which was full of ripe melon and green apple on the nose and round and full with good acidity in the mouth.

Secondly, the Bobal Madurado en Barrica from Dominio de la Vega, from the 2009 vintage and the only year that it was kept in oak for 6 months. It produced a wine of incredible concentration full of chocolate, smoke, cafe creme, clove, liquorice.

Thirdly the Vi Dolç from the coop at Casinos was a traditional wine aged for a very long period in large oak foudres. The result is a wine that is full of figs, nuts, dried fruits etc that it was described on the day as `liquid xmas cake!´ It is still available today!

Following this tasting a group of friends decided to carry on tasting on a monthly basis if possible.

Members at an earlier Tasting

Members at an earlier Tasting

The second meeting was held in July 2010 on the garden terrace of the President of the Association´s house and as well as a tasting of eight more wines it was followed by a meal, a format for tastings which has carried on until today!

It was also at this meeting that the first wine from DO Alicante was introduced ( Finca Collado Blanco 2009 ) of which more later.

Wines from DO Cava ( Requena) were introduced at the fourth meeting in September 2010 and the first wines from the emerging IGP Castellon were  presented at the seventh meeting in January 2011.

Following this the group has evolved, some of the original members have moved on, or back to the UK, but the group has continued to meet regularly in members houses, enjoying eight wines and a meal and have tasted over 400 wines, all from the Valencian Community, with a mix from the five `Denominacións De Orige´.

They have also visited the major wine fairs held in Requena ( FEREVIN) and in Valencia ( Mostra de Vins) and been on visits to Finca Collado, Chozas Carrascal, Dominio de la Vega and Sebiran, La Viña and Daniel Belda.

Amongst other highlights for the group was a very special tasting held on 13 October 2013 where we were the first group ever to undertake a vertical tasting of the wines from Bodega Finca Collado.

Wines from the Finca Collado Tasting

Wines from the Finca Collado Tasting

Tasted that day were the Blanco from 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009, a blend of Chardonnay and Moscatel and the 2004 Chardonnay which gave the group an opportunity to taste a wine and evaluate its evolution in bottle. That day the group learnt that white wine in Valencia is capable of ageing, the 2009 being fresh with good acidity even if the fruit had changed from banana and apricot to  orange peel and honey.

We also tasted a sample from deposit from the new 2013 vintage as well as the new Rosado from Merlot. In reds we compared  the 2008 and 2007 from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and the pure Merlot, the bodegas flagship wine,  from 2010 and 2009.

The single vineyard theme was repeated in May 2014 with a tasting of nine wines from Bodegas Sebirán, a bodega in DO Utiel-Requena which was celebrating its centenary. The group had tasted a Bobal from this bodega at its second meeting but subsequently it had undergone a period of closure until Ken Wagener revived and introduced a range of easy drinking wines with good price to quality ratio. On that evening ( which coincided with the birthday´s of both Ken and hostess, Marian Daras, ) we tasted the two cavas c´A Brut and Brut Nature and compared the latter with a short period since disgorging and a two-year longer period which once again smashed a myth that cava should be drunk within a year of release. It has certainly been the case that Cavas from Requena with long bottle ageing on the lees can produce wines with a three or four-year period of life.

Wines from Sebirán

Wines from Sebirán

We also tasted the basic `T´ range with a white from Macabeo, a rosado from Bobal, the new `J ´ crianza, before tasting some of the wines produced for export. We finished with the older `J´ Crianza ( Bobal) and a port style red, late harvest 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon.

For the 50th meeting a Tasting and Celebratory lunch has been arranged for the 29th March in Chaparral Restaurant in Serra. Here on the top of the Serranos we will taste eight wines and one cava from Bodegas who have agreed to sponsor the event. Each wine will be accompanied by a `gastrotapa´ created by Kike Escribano and Lorena Cases the young owners of the restaurant who are emerging as a tour de force on Valencia´s gastronomy scene. It will also be the groups first tasting with food specially prepared to match the wines.

The tasting will be followed by a meal including a paella cooked traditionally over wood accompanied by wines from the sponsoring bodegas!

50th Tasting!

50th Tasting!

The wines and the Bodegas are:-

Bodega Finca Collado, Blanco 2014 DO Alicante.

Magnanimvs Blanco 2014, Bodegas Mayo Garcia Vino de Autor, Vilafames, Castellon.

Magnanimvs Semi-Dulce 2014, Bodegas Mayo Garcia, Vino de Autor, Vilafames, Castellon.

Bobal Rosado 2014, Latorré Agrovinicola DO Utiel-Requena.

Syrah 2012, El Mollet Vino y Cultura ( Roques Negres) La Baronia, Castellon.

Pelegri, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Baron D´Alba, Clos D´esgarracordes, IGP Castellon.

Las Ocho 2011  Vino de Pago, Bodegas Chozas Carrascal DO Utiel Requena.

Daniel Belda Chardonnay Dolç, Terres dels Alforins, DO Valencia.

Tantum Ergo Brut Nature Rose´, Hispano+Suizas DO Cava ( Requena)

The Finca Collado Blanco is possibly the best vintage yet of this wine!

The Magnanimvs Blanco is a firm favourite ! Magnanimvs Semi-Dulce is newly released and this will be the first time it has been evaluated by a wine-group! The same blend as the dry white ( Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Moscatel) it has 30gms residual sugar.

The Parreño Rosado from Latorré is full of everything you expect from a young Bobal Rosado…amazing on the nose!

The Syrah from Roques Negres is just so fresh, fruity and full of varietal characteristics!

The Pelegri from Baron D´Alba is a pure Cabernet Sauvignon very much in  the French style with lots of black pepper, typical of the variety.

The Las Ocho combines eight separate varieties in one blend and has been a consistently big and fruity wine! Pago status is very difficult to acheive!

The  Belda Chardonnay Dolç naturally fermented sweet wine is a tour de force. So sweet, honeyed and a perfect accompaniment to fresh fruit!

The Hispano+Suizas Tantum Ergo Cava is of course consistently the highest rated cava, rated not just by Parker and Penin, but by Sevi-net and The Association of Spanish wine-writers!


The event has been organised by VÍ vid and promises to be another memorable day and tasting in the groups history and evolution….here´s to the next fifty tastings!

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