Saturday 3rd June 2017 : "More to Spain than Rioja" with Sally & Peter in Rustington
Sally & Peter can always be relied upon to give us a good evening. This time Spanish wines were on the tasting menu. As the title suggests, not just Riojas but some of the other splendid wines that the country offers...
1. Palacio de Fefiñanes Albariño 2015 £14.99
An excellent, ripe and refreshing Albariño. This is an enticing wine with flavours of ripe apple, white fruits and a refreshing minerality. “The original and still best producer of albariño, Palacio de Fefiñanes, shows the way, playing up the mineral-saltiness and thrilling acidity – without stinting on the prettiness of blossom, pear and peach – in what is, pound for pound, one of the best value white wines in the world.” – David Williams The Guardian
2. Cune Barrel Fermented Rioja Blanco 2015 £10.99
Produced by the fifth generation of CVNE (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) from a careful selection of Viura grapes. Fermented on its lees in new American oak casks for up to four months to add depth and complexity. It is then aged in bottle for some months prior to release. A marvellously rich and creamy, soft-fruit style white Rioja that is full of elegance and charm. With immediate citrus character on the palate, this wine benefits from fermentation in cask, which rounds out the flavours.
3. Bóhorquez, Ribera del Duero 2007 £18.00
This small property, a neighbour of Ribera del Duero’s famous prestigious Pesquera winery, makes an elegant, stylish expression of tinto fino (tempranillo). The mature 2007 has hints of tobacco spice and plums which persist on the finish and lovely roundness from over a year in a mix of French and American oak. A good foil for dense, fatty joints like pork belly.
4. Santa Cruz de Artazu Garnacha, Navarra 2011 £24.00
This single-vineyard garnacha, from vines over 80 years old, packs a great deal of power and richness in a very structured and well-controlled way. There are flashes of deliciously toasty, high-quality oak behind the ripe damson fruit. Long and opulent but strikingly fresh on the finish.
5. Baron de Ley Gran Reserva Rioja 2010 £23.29
Mainly Tempranillo with some Garnacha grapes. Aged for 24 months in 50% American and 50% French oak casks and for a further 36 months in bottle. This mature Gran Reserva delivers a remarkable aromatic intensity on the nose with notes of ripe fruit and a smoky complexity. The palate is silky soft with wild herbs, spice and toasted tones.
6. Finca Comabarra 2011 £22.00
An incredibly fine and richly flavoured wine from the man behind several top Spanish wines, including Auzells (the popular white we have listed for several years) and the excellent red Vilosell. This serious and full-flavoured Spanish blend of garnacha, syrah and cabernet is crafted by Tomàs Cusiné from a single vineyard that lies at over 700 metres altitude, imbuing the wine with extra freshness. The result is powerful but with refreshing clarity and formidable length
7. Scala Dei Cartoixa, Priorat 2012 £34.00
Perhaps the oldest wine estate in Priorato, Scala Dei dates back to 1163 and the foundation of a Carthusian monastery. Some of Spain’s greatest wines are now made in Priorato, and today Scala Dei is at the forefront of such premium wine production. Garnacha tinta (called garnatxa in Catalan country) is the principal grape with some carineña, cabernet sauvignon and syrah. They use only grapes grown on their own 90 hectares of land at up to 700 metres altitude, harvesting by hand at extremely low yields, and sorting by hand every grape before ageing the wines in the 17th century monastery cellars. A wine of great breeding and distinction, and a pioneer of Priorat. This manages to be both stylish and powerful with rich damson fruit and spice. Smooth, velvety and still youthful so we advise decanting it an hour before serving.
8. Harveys Pedro Ximenez VORS Sherry £23.49
This Sherry is from a Solera founded in 1919 and has an average age of over 30 years. A lusciously sweet and very long-aged Pedro Ximénez sherry made by Beltram Domecq in Harveys cellars in the centre of Jerez. A rich style of sweet sherry that has concentrated flavours of fig, prune and liquorice. Despite its intense sweetness this wine has superb poise and balance on the palate. The finish is raisiny, natural and very long.