PRIVATE TASTING – THE WHITES!
I’m delighted to say that each year, for the past five or so, I’ve been invited to present a wine tasting for clients of a rather prestigious business concern, here on the Costa Blanca. I’m given a budget, of course, but it’s a rather generous one and I’m therefore able to choose some of the best wines of Spain.
I also like to surprise tasters, as well as introduce them to wines from the local area, as I’m keen to let people know that Spanish wine doesn’t just equal Rioja. Judging by the reaction I receive after each tasting it seems that I’m doing a reasonable job in terms of the above, and, of course, in terms of wine pleasure too!
Tasked with providing a bienvenido/reception sparkling wine, there is, of course, a plethora from which to choose, and it’s here that I went slightly off-piste. I chose a cava. Nothing revolutionary about that of course, given that cava is the best known of all Spanish sparklers and one that can easily rub shoulders with the best fizz in the world. However, its provenance, was the surprise.
Cava Via de la Plata, Coupage, Brut Nature is made in Extramadura – just about as far away as possible from Cataluña, where roughly 95% of cava is made! This wine, made with Macabeo and Parellada is perfectly dry to accompany the cheese, jamón Serrano and chorizo served before the tasting proper. It’s refreshing and celebratory, as we’d expect, but it also has a little depth from the extra time aging ‘en rima’. (https://bodegasviadelaplata.es/en/)
Then, in the tasting room, the cheek of it – I did it again, this time a Brut Nature Reserva, made with Chardonnay, from the same winery! And why not – this winery really is a trailblazer for cava makers who craft their fizz from outside Cataluña. A medallist in the 50 Great Cavas competition, and indeed the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World competitions, it goes to show that with dedicated wine-makers, doesn’t have to come from the North east of Spain. Rounder and fuller than the above, the Chardonnay making its mark, this reserva cava has had 32 months en rima – a super sparkler!
At this annual tasting we always like furnish clients with a comparison wine – so another cava was required! Perhaps feeling sorry for Cataluña, I chose a cava from the area, and oh what a wine! Varias Cuvée Clàssic Gran Reserva Brut Nature has a lovely pale gold colour in the prettily labelled bottle. Despite its age, it’s as lively as young’n – with all the fizz of the fair, but hold it on the palate and let its body impress you! After just under four years en rima this wine has developed the presence of the elder statesman. Full, yet elegant – it’s excellent, and also very well priced! Available Vins y Mes, Javea Old Town. (http://www.cavavarias.es/en/).
Readers may remember my article about Celler Alimara, El Senyal Blanc 2016 in January. I was so impressed with this nascent bodega’s first five wines, I decided to use one of them for this prestigious tasting. The oak from its six months in large foudres blends perfectly with the blanched almonds, citrus notes, and banana, that’s skin and fruit! There’s a slight creaminss too, following it’s time on its lees. (http://celleralimara.com/es/historia/)
Unfortunately, the white wine I’d chosen for a comparison, normally an excellent, fruit driven wine, with an interesting story as well, was faulty! It happens – I’m just hoping it doesn’t lead to the sack for me!
Reds next week!
NB I have arranged a super two day trip to Jumilla, to visit two excellent bodegas for tours, tastings and lunch, with an overnight stay and dinner at the luxury Hotel Casa Boquera, which sits in its own vineyards! This Gourmet/Wine short break is 25th – 26th April and I now only have 10 places available! To reserve and for more details please call me asap on 629 388 159; or e-mail email@example.com