DO Bullas Wine Competition Part 4

So, on with the show:

I was a little nervous about The Gala Dinner, following the sumptuous lunch – I wondered if I’d be able eat anything after gorging myself of the 8 or so courses, with wine, that we enjoyed so much at lunchtime. However, I couldn’t seem to be unappreciative, so I made a big effort! Such dedication!

Well it wasn’t hard – the dinner was excellent at Restaurante Pedro Marín, Caravaca de la Cruz, which is a 2o minute coach journey from Bullas. Top quality amuse bouches and again several courses. Needless to say the wines were several of those which we had been ‘blindly’ judging during the day – and there were plenty of them!

Finally, the Prizes were awarded as follows:

PREMIOS VIII CERTAMEN DE CALIDAD DE VINOS DOP BULLAS
CATEGORÍA VINOS BLANCOS
Medalla de PLATA – LAS REÑAS MACABEO 2014 DE BODEGAS DEL ROSARIO
CATEGORÍA VINOS ROSADOS
Medalla de ORO – ROSMARINUS ROSADO 2014 DE BODEGA CARRASCALEJO
CATEGORIA VINOS TINTOS JÓVENES AÑADAS 2013 y 2014
Medalla de ORO – CARRASCALEJO 2013 DE BODEGA CARRASCALEJO
Medalla de PLATA – MABAL 2014 DE BODEGA BALCONA
CATEGORÍA DE VINOS TINTOS JÓVENES CON MADERA AÑADAS 2012 y 2013
Medallas de ORO- ALMUDÍ 2013 DE BODEGA MONASTRELL
Medalla de PLATA – NIÑO DE LAS UVAS 2013 DE BODEGAS DEL ROSARIO
Medalla de PLATA – LAS REÑAS BARRICA 2013 DE BODEGAS DEL ROSARIO
CATEGORÍA DE VINOS TINTO CRIANZA AÑADAS 2012 y 2011
Medallas de ORO – LAS REÑAS SELECCIÓN 2011 DE BODEGAS DEL ROSARIO
Medalla de PLATA – CEPAS DEL ZORRO 2011 DE COOPERATIVA SAN ISIDRO
CATEGORÍA DE VINOS TINTO CRIANZA AÑADAS 2010 y Anteriores
Medalla de ORO – VALCHÉ 2010 DE BODEGA MONASTRELL
Medalla de PLATA – VALCHÉ 2007 DE BODEGA MONASTRELL
Medalla de PLATA – SEÑORIO DE BULLAS CRIANZA 2010 DE BODEGAS DEL ROSARIO
Medalla de PLATA – CHAVEO 2010 DE BODEGA MONASTRELL

Coincidentally I was seated at the same table as Señor Alfonso J. Garcia (and his charming wife) who won two of the Gold Medals – he owns and makes the wines for Bodega Monastrell, www.bodegamonastrell.com. You’ll see his Golds below and there is no doubt in my mind that these wines would also merit medals in the worlds oldest International Wine Competition, the International Wine & Spitits Competition (www.iwsc.net).

Indeed, I’ve encouraged Alfonso to enter this year’s competition. Success in the IWSC is really meaningful, but not just for the bodega concerned, also for the DO.

Another multi-award winning bodega was Bodegas Del Rosario, whose winemaker must have been exhausted at the end of the evening, so often did he have to leave his table to collect and award! www.bodegasdelrosario.com

There were also two golds for my friend Ignacio Pidal, owner of Bodegas Carrascalejo, whose company (and wines!) I had enjoyed during lunch! www.carrascalejo.com

Also, check out Partal wines – the young, joven wines, as well as their more elderly offerings! www.partal-vinos.com

 

Let’s face it DO Bullas, is not the first Spanish wine producing area that comes to mind, and yet there is real quality here. Wines that compete with those from the better known areas in Spain. Wines that really deserve consumers’ attention.

Some further reflections of the DO Bullas Annual Wine Competition will follow in the next few days.

DO Bullas Wine Competition Part 3

Well, I’m now back in my room – recovering!

What a day, so far! This morning the Judging Panel convened at 10:00 hrs in the Museo del Vino, Bullas – and got to work.

Hard at Work!
Hard at Work!

44 wines were tasted in a four hour period, with a 30 minute break. Each judge marked the wines and their scores were collected throughout proceedings, fed into a computer and collated. The results – in other words the medal winners will be announced this evening at the Grand Gala Dinner in a top quality restaurant in a nearby town, and the medals will be presented!

It’s been an honour to be a part of it all – in fact the only foreigner on the tasting panel which included winemakers, writers critics and esteemed and famous media personalities.

We’ve just finished an excellent lunch, luckily for me at the same Casa Rural where I’m staying, courtesy of the Consejo Regulador, DO Bullas. I think 8 courses, or was it nine(?) were presented and each was accompanied with at least one different wine, often two or more.

And the quality of the wines? Well, I often wonder if I’m being harsh when awarding points and therefore ultimately medals, or not. Am I operating as if I was on the IWSC (International Wine & Spirits Competition – the oldest in the world and one of the most prestigious) Spanish Panel (which I will be, next month) and applying their strict interpretation of what is, and what isn’t, quality, when it comes to wine? And if so, is this the correct way to go about judging local wines?

Well, yes, I think it is correct to apply the same quality control rules. If a wine entered for the IWSC wins a medal, you can be sure that it deserves it! Can we say the same about all other competitions, well no – frankly. So when I judged the DO Bullas wines I applied the same stringent tests.

I found just 2 gold medal winners, a few more silvers, perhaps a few more bronzes, quite a few ‘nearly wines’ and a couple of poor or perhaps faulty wines.

I’ll be interested to see how my colleagues rated the wines tonight at the celebratory dinner where I’ll see if more Golds were given etc.

More tomorrow – again, when I’ve recovered!

 

DO Bullas Wine Competition Part 2

Well, I was back in time to write the 2nd half of yesterday’s blog, honest, but there were internet connection issues! Plus, for some reason my laptop is telling me that the photos I took, with my usual camera, are too large for this blog!

Shame as I took some good ones last night at the Inauguration of the VIII DO Bullas Wine Competition, and of the tasting that followed!

I have to admit to thinking it, although most enjoyable, a little odd that the wine judges of a wine competition taste the wines entered the evening before the event. Thus there could be some of us who will have an idea already, before this morning’s competition, about which wines will be the medal winners.

Of course, tasting this morning will be blind, whereas it certainly wasn’t last night. So, maybe this tasting (and judging, of course) should best be termed, a translucent tasting rather than a blind one?!

Never mind, I’m up for it – in every possible sense. Showered, dressed and writing this update before i go down to breakfast.

I didn’t taste all the wines last night, of course – though I did taste all the whites (not many, it’s largely and red wine area) and all of the rosados (there were more of these, mostly using the favoured grape variety, Monastrell, but with bit parts also for Garnacha too.

My friends, Nigel, a resident of Bullas, and Pepe, one of my fellow Judges enjoying the wine tasting before 'work' in the morning!
My friends, Nigel, a resident of Bullas, and Pepe, one of my fellow Judges, enjoying the wine tasting before ‘work’ in the morning!

The predominant colour of the rosados was the bright pink that is common here, with variations on a theme, though one Provence style, onionskin-coloured rosé stood out as it was so different. (Therefore we’ll know whose this wine is when we taste ‘translucent’ this morning!).

I left a little early, conscious that I’d be ‘working’ this morning, so I didn’t have the chance to visit all the stands for their reds. However, I can say that there really were some outstanding red wines there last night, so I’m looking forward to tasting more tonight – and the same ones again!

Well, yes, but with one exception – one of the exhibitors last night, and one of the best red producers, has not entered this morning’s competition. No controversy, nothing unpleasant, they just took a management decision to exhibit, but not to enter. I’m not really sure why, it’s a shame as I’m certain they’d be amongst the medals!

Lovely atmosphere, super wines and tasty, gourmet nibbles too. Now down to work!

More later!

DO Bullas Wine Competition

BULLAS DO LOGO vino-do-murcia-bullas

So, here I am in a rather quaint Casa Rural, five minutes from Bullas, preparing for this evening’s entertainment, prior to judging tomorrow’s DO Bullas Annual Wine Competition. I’m looking forward to it immensely.

Hospedería Rural El Molino de Abajo http://www.castillico.com/hospederia.php.

The Casa Rural above is one of the member Hotels/Casas Rurales in the DO Bullas Ruta del Vinos @RutaVinoBullas and the bucolic, converted water mill is atmospheric and comfortable.

Tonight there is a wine tasting where invitees will be able to sample an array of quality wines from all the producers operating under the auspices of DO Bullas, as well as having the opportunity to chat with winemakers. It will be held 5 minutes away from where I’m staying, in the Museo del Vino, which is the most pro-active, dynamic Wine Museum I’ve come across here in Spain. Bravo!

I was disappointed to note that in Dia Supermarket opposite the Museum I could not see a single DO Bullas wine, and this in the heart of Bullas! Shame on you Supermercados Dia! There are some excellent wines made here, across the full price spectrum so there really is no excuse! Local wines deserve representation!

As I’m judging in the morning I’ll need to keep a clear head tonight, so I should be back at the Casa Rural in time to add to this on-going blog. We’ll see!