Wine Talk

Snooth User: spikedc

Great Spanish Fine Wine Encounter

Posted by spikedc, Feb 9, 2012.

I've just won a pair of tickets to the 'Decanter Great Spanish Fine Wine Ecounter' on the 18th February at the Landmark Hotel In London.

So many wines to taste,

http://www.amiando.com/spanishencou...

Going to be a long Day !

 

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Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 10, 2012.

Looks like a nice list of exhibitors all in one place, Spike.

Do you drink sherry?

And are you going to the Vega-Sicilia lunch?  ;-)

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Reply by spikedc, Feb 10, 2012.

dmcker,

Yes, really looking forward  to it.

I like sherry but don't drink a lot of it, anything i should be looking out for ?

Vega-Sicilia lunch - Unfortunately no, already sold out. :-(

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 10, 2012.

Awesome looking event. Congrats!

In all honesty the Murrietta tasting looks as interesting as the Vega dinner. And that pop up sherry bar is going to be awesome. can't wait to read about it.

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Reply by spikedc, Feb 19, 2012.

Attended the event today and what a great day it was.  50 top Spanish wineries and around 300 wines to taste. Below are just some of the stunning highlights I tasted.............

Ribero del Duero – Pago de los Capellanes, El Picon, 2005

Marques de Riscal, Gran Reserva 2001

Baron de Chirel 2005

Marques de Murrieta Reserva 2005

Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 2004

Cesar de Burbia – Liaran Tinto 2008

Cesar de Burbia – Tebaida 2007

Sierra Cantabria, Finca El Bosque Rioja 2007

Marques de la Concordia, Durius Magister 2007

 

Apart from the expensive, I did find some real gems perhaps my favourite was a wine ‘Cien Y Pico Knight Errant’  from  Manchuela near Valencia. Cien Y Pico means One hundred and something  which is suppose to refer to the age of the ancient Garnacha Tintorera vines from which these wines are made.  Spice, chocolate, dark berries and leather all there and beautifully smooth.

Other good ones were

Marques de Caceres – Gaudium, Gran Vino 2005 (Tempranillo blend - leathery, Rustic)

Izadi, Reserva Rioja 2007 (Medium bodied, slight cigar and coffee)

 

I concentrated mainly on reds but I did sample some very good Albarinos and Verdejo’s .

The Sherry bar was a hit and was very popular,  Vina AB Young Amontillado, Leonor Palo Cortado and Tio Pepe Fino  all going down well as was the Iberico Ham and Manchega cheese .

All in all I had a fabulous time, met and chatted to a lot of Spanish producers and met some interesting people.

The Afternoon did become a little blurred towards the end !

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 19, 2012.

Congrats on what was no doubt a great event Spike...would love to get my hands on some of those wines. The 2001 Marques de Riscal sounds like a treat.

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Reply by spikedc, Feb 20, 2012.

Jon, it was a superb event, the guy on the Ribero del Duero Pago de los Capellanes stand even told us to help ourselves while he nipped off for 5 minutes, now there's an offer we couldn't refuse !

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 20, 2012.

Sounds like a merry time, spike. Did you try any sherry beyond the three you mention?

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Reply by spikedc, Feb 20, 2012.

dmcker,

Don't generally drink sherry, although i did taste the ones at the pop up bar, The Leonor and Tio Pepe were ok, tasted better when drunk along with the Iberico Ham & Cheese. Not keen on the sweeter sherries.

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 20, 2012.

Sweeter sherries can be good in their place, but just tapas-style I definitely prefer to drink finos, most often manzanillas, and in that case the fresher the better. Very rarely anything heavier, and then usually only an amontillado. All dry in this context, which is where I do most of my sherry drinking. I find them refreshing and they go down extremely easily, more and more, sip by sip. If you're not accustomed to the flavor there may be an initial threshold to pass, but it soon disappears in the rearview. And, as you've noted, they go quite well with all sorts of nibbles, from mountain to sea....

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Reply by spikedc, Feb 20, 2012.

I know what you mean about that initial threshold my first reaction was i'm not sure, there was a slight saltiness about it, being chilled helped and it certainly refreshed, good with tapas.

I willing to try more if you have any recommendations for a good Dry / light one. The only sherries i have in the past have always been sweet and sickly.

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Reply by gregt, Feb 20, 2012.

Spike - it's an interesting area. It's easier to like some of the slightly sweet ones.  Just keep in mind that there are fundamentally 2 types of sherry - biological and oxidized.  The biological ones are fortified to about 15% and they grow a light layer of mold, called flor.  That eats up all of the residual sugar so the wine is extremely dry and alcoholic and some people therefore dislike it. Those are called "fino".

The oxidized ones are grown w/out the mold on top, so they obviously get oxygen, and those are darker, with notes of caramel and toffee and somewhat reminiscent of walnuts with the bitter edge on the finish. Those are called "oloroso".  Sometimes they're lightly sweetened with raisined grapes, and the sweeter ones are "amoroso" - kissed by sugar. Those are the creams, etc.

Either can be quite delicious with salty ham and nuts, and the finos can be really good with sardines, anchovies, olives, etc.  Usually those are treated like white wines, but actually some can age in the bottle for a while, and some that are quite old can also have a slightly oxidized note to them, even tho their color is still pure.  Generally people are more receptive to the olorosos, even the dry ones, than the finos. Partly it's because people like the smell of toffee more than acetone, and partly because the finos are so different from anything else we eat or drink.  But they can be quite delicious.

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 20, 2012.

"There is no gastronomic justification for the price of Montrachet being five times that of the most brilliant fino."
- Hugh Johnson

I've seen this quote more than a dozen times, but I know this man's palate and I agree with him so I'll throw it up there again--though I'm probably actually happy that fino and manzanilla and amontillado are so relatively inaccessible, thanks to that threshold bump. They remain one of the great relative values in a wineworld gone pricing crazy over the last decade or two, thanks to the Parker-lypse, Wall St. nouveau-riche uber-consumerism, and the Chinese then piling on with money they can't spend within an overheated domestic economy (after the Japanese paved the way for them 20 years earlier in a manner that taught the French and some of the Italians a lesson or two in brands exploitation).

The amontillado I mentioned, by the way, is kind of a failed fino. As in Greg's description, the flor (call it a filmy cap of yeast if that sounds better than mold) is attempted, but it's historically been harder to guarantee inland near Montilla, than along the coast near Jerez, or in Sanlucar de Barrameda where the manzanillas come from. So when the flor fails to develop, the wine starts (or intentionally has started for it, with adjustment of alcohol level included) a delayed oxidation, though the resulting color is still clearer and the oxidized flavor less intense than with olorosos (but darker and more oxidized than the finos). Amontillados are still, usually, dry and not as regularly sweetened as olorosos tend to be.

If you're looking for brand names, Lustau isn't a terrible place to start. It's widely distributed (even to shops in Tokyo) and its level of quality isn't a bad platform from which to launch your explorations. Ultimately, if you want to go ultra-sherry-geeky, you could spend time trying to chase down limited-production projects like Equipo Navazos (who don't stop at cherry-picking the best soleras, but from the best barrels within those soleras). In between, there's an awful lot of landscape and landmarks to explore. If you have the opportunity, one great way to jumpstart things would be to give youself a week in Jerez and Sanlucar, going from bodega (and their soleras) to tasting room to restaurant, day after day. You'll wish you came by car if you didn't, because you'll want to take a trunkload with you backhome on the ferry.

Hell, make it two weeks and spend the week before traversing Andalusia, whether Sevilla, Granada, or some hilltop or beachside boutique hotel. I once spent a couple of months traveling from Barcelona to Jerez (after kickstarting the trip with a month in Mallorca and Ibiza ;-)  ). About a week in we started a nightly custom of finding bars in each town that would always have a group of flamenco performers in the corner. Buy them a round and they'd play a song, whether we requested just guitar or with dancing. In Barcelona and Valencia we started by drinking wine ourselves, but even before we reached Andalusia we'd shifted to sherry as the automatic order when we walked in. Interestingly the evolution went from oloroso to amontillado to fino to the fino-subset of manzanilla in our drinking habits, with fino and manzanilla standard by the time we hit Andalusia. This was nearly a dozen years ago, and as it turned out manzanilla was starting to take domestic consumption within Spain by storm. It apparently wasn't just us, since I heard a figure whereby before the end of the naughties manzanilla made up 70% or more of domestic sherry demand.

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 20, 2012.

Here's an old Snooth Forum thread from a couple of years ago when Greg and I got into the subject a bit with a winemaker from the Loire. Good background reading and some brands to chase down.

For a more generic backgrounder, here's a short and quick read by a WE writer with an overview of certain towns and styles.

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Reply by gregt, Feb 20, 2012.

D - I love that quote.  Haven't seen it before but it's right on the money.

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 20, 2012.

That quote hit the spot, especially after coming home from a Burgundy tasting.

Must get some Amontillado!

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 21, 2012.

Try for some manzanilla, too.

BTW, in that earlier thread from a couple of years ago, one of my longer posts mentions 'fino and its subset of amontillado', or something like that. I actually meant to write 'fino and its subset of manzanilla' but was racing ahead of myself thinking of the next sentence or three while I was still typing. Pressed submit then saw it and said *¥$%&+?!~{!!. No edit function in those days, so the mistake lingers...

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Reply by spikedc, Feb 21, 2012.

Thanks guys, going to dip my toe in the sherry water, think i'll stick to the drier types Fino,Manzanilla or Amontillado. We eat a lot of tapas at home especially olives , nuts, Serano ham. prawns and Squid.

Going to track down some of the reco's on my next wine buying trip.

What's the best way to keep the sherry after opening and how long will it last.?

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 21, 2012.

Especially with the more delicate ones like manzanilla, just like another bottle of white. Let's hear Greg's views on the olorosos, but I usually err in the quicker-consumption direction. Recap, fridge and all that until the bottle's finished.

It did take me a week to finish a bottle of Lustau amontillado last week, and I found the wine to be tiring before the end of that week. Coming home, that was my 'petit coup de blanc' each night. If I'd had tapas or similarly compatible menus at home during that period it would only have lasted a couple of days. Didn't really want it with Singapore-style noodles or sushi. Other nights I just turned around and went right back out to meet people for drinks and dinner.

I also tend to drink it warmer than some people do. I despise over-chilled libations in small glasses. Perhaps has something to do with a well-earned gagreflex to refrigerated Cuervo Gold out at dodgy bars worldwide....  ;-(

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Reply by gregt, Feb 21, 2012.

Right - the finos and manzanillas should be treated as young whites.  You wouldn't keep those around for many days or weeks. For the most part, they don't want to be aged in the bottle and don't want to be kept too long after opening - after all, they've been kept from oxygen intentionally. 

But that's for the most part.  There are some that can actually keep in the bottle for a few years.  Equipo Navazos suggests that you can keep a couple of theirs for a few years. But once opened, still drink them up. 

Olorosos are different. They've been in contact with air their whole lives, so what's going to happen if they are opened and air reaches them?  Pretty much nothing. I've kept them open for months, and in some cases, over a year, with no ill effects. I just keep them in the cellar and pour a glass whenever I feel the urge.

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Reply by Snoother 1339784, Sep 7, 2013.

Can anyone help me?  I have a bottle of wine, and would like to know if anyone has heard of it and if you might have a price for this bottle.  On the label it states as follows:  Rioja Tinto Crianza Vina Izadi Cosecha 1989.  Ebotellado por Arte Vino, S.A. Villabuena (Alava) Espana.  1,5 liter

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