First Published in Grupo Costa News Feb 2011

INAUGURAL TASTING WITH TAPAS @

TEULADA’S WINE EXCELLENCE CENTRE

Teulada's Centre of Wine Excellence!

In fact I’m referring to that corner of Teulada where stands: the wine merchants, A Catarlo Todo; the super Wine/Tapas Bar next door, Tapes Tapes; Plus, brand new, their Wine Accessories Shop, Diversus. Individually, each premises stand out for their very high standards; as a whole, this innovative Triumvirate can truly be defined a centre of excellence for all things Wine!

 I’ve known brothers José and Javi for many years now and am often found perusing their wines and sampling their original, often gourmet, tapas. So I was delighted to be asked to present their inaugural wine tasting with tapas to introduce the new concept to what turned out to be a full house. Seven wines were tasted with a series of tapas to universal acclaim by those who attended. It was an excellent start to the Valentine’s weekend!

 The first wine we tried was a Cava, Pupitre Brut, from the Cava Capital Sant Sadurni D’Anoia. I always like to start a tasting with a Cava – this super Spanish sparkler refreshes the palate and prepares the taster for the wines to come. But Pupitre, made with the three traditional grape varieties, Xarel.lo, Parellada and Macabeo has more to offer than just this. It’s not over expensive and I’d recommend you try it as an alternative to your usual fizz!

 White wine followed, in the form of Care Chardonnay – an unoaked Chardonnay from DO Cariñena, with the iconic flat-face modern art label. This wine demonstrates how Chardonnay can be all things to all men (and women!). It loves its own company but is happy also with oak, in abundance or with only a few months ageing.

 Care Chardonnay 2010 is grown at altitude – it’s more of an Old World,

A Catarlo Todo - an Aladin's Cave for wine enthusiasts!

 subtle Chardonnay than brash New World. Quite full on the palate and capable of another year’s ageing I think.

 Mo Rosado from Bodegas Sierra Salinas followed (yes I know you’ve read about this wine before, but no apologies, it’s good!) is made from the top Spanish variety Monastrell (don’t let anyone tell you it’s the Spanish name for the French grape, Mourvedre – it’s the other way around!), Cabernet Sauvignon and that start of Sierra Salinas, Garnacha Tintorera – the grape with the slightly pink coloured flesh.

 Our first red of the evening was Vierlas 2007 from Bodegas Guelnenzu of the Vino de la Tierra Ribera del Queiles wine producing area, which is in the Navarra DO zone, but is not DO Navarra. Nor does it want to be!

 Another example of how good wines from non DO areas can be! This 100% Syrah has had 6 months in American and French oak and is typical of Spain’s spin on the French variety, Syrah (aka Shiraz in the New World). When cultivated at altitude but with guaranteed sunshine this grape gives super fruit driven, slightly black pepper spiced dark cloured red wine.

 La Planta 2009 from Bodegas Arzuaga is slightly less opaque but still darkly coloured. It’s made from 100% Tempranillo in the glorious DO Ribera del Duero. Wines from this DO often seem to coax a touch more depth and opulence from Spain’s treasured Tempranillo (aka Tinto Fino in the Ribera del Duero DO).

 But with this particular wine, oh what a super nose – redolent of dark cherries, cinnamon, toffee apple and nutmeg! In the mouth it is a little short of the expectation following the aromas, a little lighter in mouthfeel than the fragrance suggests. But for it’s price it really is good!

 The final red wine, Albada 2002, is from DO Calatayud and blends Cabernet, Garnacha, Tempranillo and again, Syrah. It’s a Reserva with 13 months in French and American oak and even after three days open, kept cool, it remains an elegant, yet fully flavoured wine – I’m sipping it now!

 The final wine was a dessert wine, Zubiri, DO Navarra, which has taken South East Spain’s Moscatel and turned it into a completely different animal!

 NB Our next wine tasting wit classical music and gourmet dining will be on Friday 8th April at Hotel Marisol, Calpe – it promises to be an excellent evening! Please reserve on 629 388 159 –more details soon!

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