III Mostra Internacional de vins singulars i de poble
Yep, it’s a mouth full, I know – and in Valenciano too, but I think it wholly appropriate that we keep it like it is! This wine tasting in Jesús Probre, open to the public over a recent weekend and to the pros on the Monday morning, was a celebration of all that’s good in the local wine making firmament (plus a little further afield too).
I’ve said it before, and I’ve no doubt I’ll say it again, but perhaps it’s best to let our Swedish friend and colleague, Elisabeth Holmström of Milagro Javea, say it this time – “I am continually amazed at the high quality of the wines that are made on our doorstep, and in the rest of Spain too!”
There surely can be no doubt that Spain has to be one of the most dynamic winemaking countries in the world and foreigners like ourselves, living here, or regularly visiting, are so lucky to be able to enjoy the fruit of their endeavour – well, the fermented fruit! I’ve been writing about Spanish wines since I arrived here, bulky Amstrad computer and printer in tow (no lap tops in those days!), twenty-two years ago.
I clearly remember tasting wines, contacting producers in my stumbling Spanish (oh, ok, hopeless Spanish!), writing about them and then faxing the articles off to Costa News HQ. How technology has changed! But, more importantly in this case, how the wines of Spain have changed in the interim period!
Walking around the 22 bodegas’ stalls in the ‘Riurau’ (itself entirely apt, as this is where Moscatel grapes were sun dried a century and more ago and sold as ‘pasas’, shipped out of Denia) I was taken aback at the diversity of wine styles, methods of production, bottles and labels, each with their own stories! It was a wine, culture, history and art show all rolled tastily into one event! My congratulations to the organisers, and I will be back next time, for sure!
Now, with these wine fairs, there is, for me, the perennial problem – so many wines and so little time! Add this to constraints because of my recent illness and, of course, to driving restrictions, and well you can see my dilemma! I’m thus restricted to mentioning only a few of the wines on offer – for example, I tasted only one red wine, and this a country, a region and area known firstly for its red wines! (Though this also lends weight to my thesis above – there is such a lot going on in winemaking in Spain – there are nowadays so many excellent Spanish whites too!)
The first wine to make a great impression on me was Uvas Cabrera 100% Moscatel, a small concern making just one wine – but what a wine! We all know dry Moscatel – well if you don’t, you have to get out more! But this Moscatel had a different, musky, mineral edge to it, with little of the characteristic raison/grape aroma. Floral, with some slight citrus notes in the palate and perfectly dry.
The packaging is great too – the label sports a vine with five arms. These represent the five generations of the same family, whose business started in 1895, selling pasas; then developing into table grapes sales as well (and it’s this that gives rise to the unusual boxing of the wine, lightweight wooden boxes that would have held 1kg of grapes, now the larger boxes, 5kg of grapes but now three bottles!); then into sweet wine production; and ultimately to the present incumbent making the family’s first ever dry Moscatel! Great story, super wine!
More next week!