THE CORK TALK TOP TEN!
THE BEST TEN WINES OF 2013!
So straight to it:
No. 1 – for the fist time ever, a wine that has hit the top spot for two consecutive years! Doix Costers de Vinyes Vellas, Bodegas Mas Doix, DOCa Priorat, though this time it’s the 2009 vintage. The grapes for this classy wine, a measly half kilo per vine(!), come from vineyards whose Cariñena and Garnacha vines are between 80 and 105 years of age. Concentrated dark berry flavours are to the fore on first sniff and hit, and in the mouth the wine expands in terms of it rich flavours. There are spicy notes with some bay leaf too, a hint of smoke, some graphite, some distant old leather, a slight cinnamon note and all bound together with ripe fruit and bold, but unobtrusive tannin – to ensure longevity.
No. 2 Clio, Bodegas El Nido, DO Jumilla. Clio is made with 79% Monastrell and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Old vines are used, the Monastrell are really old, perhaps 100yrs, and the Cabernet are north facing. The vineyards stoically endure very cold winters and furnace like heat in the summer. You might get coffee, blackberry/current jam, liquorice, cassis, leather, and an overwhelming sense of opulence, a very rich mouthfeel, filling the mouth with flavour the moment you take a sip.
No. 3 Pezas da Portela, Bodegas Valdesil, DO Valdeorras. Made from grapes grown in eleven different vineyards surrounding the village of Portela this white wine is fruit driven but with an elegance that speaks of really fine wine. There is a most desirable mineral nose coming from the slate-strewn soils in which the vines grow – you’ll find apple flavours, some peachy notes, paraguyo and a refreshing understated citrus element too.
No. 4. Les Ceveres, Bodegas Oriol Rosello, DO Penedés. This stunning white wine which has had six months in French oak has a delightful coconut cream nose from its lees and from the barricas in which is has lain. Slight hazelnut and blanched almond aromas are joined by baked apples and just a suggestion of white peach on the finish.
No. 5 Gran Reserva Brut Nature Cava, Bodegas Oriol Rosello, DO Cava. Its pale gold colour tells of its age and perhaps suggests that there may be Chardonnay in the blend – but no, this is traditional in that it uses only indigenous Cava varieties, in this case Xarel.lo and Parellada. Full flavoured but graceful and elegant with complexity. Its aromas gradually develop, just as the genie from the lamp slowly and gracefully manifests itself; and its glorious length kept us all hushed for several moments after swallowing!
No. 6 Albet i Noya Gran Reserva 2009 Brut Nature. The aroma of his Gran Reserva is as rich as can be and promises some wonderful flavours in the mouth. The traditional three grape varieties are supported by a sizeable proportion of Chardonnay and the patisserie notes, normally associated with Champagne, are here in abundance too. There’s a touch of green apple, largely from the Macabeo, and the fermented apple nose and taste of some classic Asturias dry cider. Admirable length and graceful elegance allied with richness!
No. 7 Lavia, Bodegas Molino y Lagares de Bullas, DO Bullas. Made with Monastrell and Syrah the wine is fermented in foudres made of French oak and stainless steel after which they are placed, by gravity only, into French oak barrels. Mountain herbs, black pepper, ripe black cherries and damson with earthy vanilla notes and a slight bitter chocolate finish.
No. 8 Feitizo da Noite Brut, Bodegas Pablo Padin, DO Rías Baixas Vino Espumo, The wine has the typical bready patisserie nose on first opening but this aroma is soon joined by typical Albariño white peach fruit and white flower fragrance. It has a lingering finish and its 8 grams of residual sugar classify it as a dry, Brut, sparkler, also making it an ideal partner to any cuisine that might include a touch of sweetness, Chinese and Indonesian for example, as it has the necessary acidity to cut through the sweetness but also the flavours to complement.
No. 9 Sueño Megala 2007, Bodegas Enguera, DO Valencia. At 14·5% this is a powerful, and yet elegant wine. Made mostly from a blend of Monastrell, Tempranillo and Syrah it has clearly enjoyed its 22 months in French oak. There are earthy aromas and bay and rosemary herbal notes on the nose with Enguera’s usual high level of delicious dark and light red fruit on the palate too. It’s a multilayered wine with complexity, a lengthy finish and a certain sensuality as well.
No. 10 Diez Siglos 2011 Fermentado en Barrica, Bodegas Diez Siglos de Verdejo, DO Rueda. The oldest vineyards comprised of stone strewn earth with few nutrients provide the wine with a pleasing, almost flinty mineral note. It has nine months in French oak and it’s this, added to typical herby green pepper vegetal notes along with gooseberry and kiwi, that provides the fresh, ripe grapefruit on the finish.