The past June 14th was the first day of the final of La Nariz de Oro, where the best sommelier of Spain is chosen, but also a few wineries and some D.O. (short form to “Denominacion de Origen” = Apellation of Origin) to promote their wines. Wonderful and exciting experience we had that day. Full details as it follows:
Our first visit is to our friends from Rueda, Finca Caraballas. It’s been a year since we tasted their Semisweet. Their Verdejo in its new vintage year has a powerful structure in mouth that we tasted not long ago in the first event of Verema. This time we wanted to taste again their Semisweet because Esmeralda, one of the alma mater of this beautiful project, tells us it’s at its best moment. We don’t hesitate in tasting this wine and we prove for ourselves it has indeed improved with this year in bottle. Has gain in balance and its acidity is hardly present in the mouth. A delicious sweet wine, for those that likes it sweet but not oversweeted. People came to their stand asking for this wine of them. Worth of mouth is still powerful.
After this short but intense and wonderful visit to Rueda, we head off to Rioja Apelation of Origin’s stand. It is a great that an A.O. is presente in these events because you can taste different wineries at the same time and you can have an idea of the quality of this wine region. Our experience here, as expected, was fabolous.
Baigorri Reserva 2006. D.O.Ca. Rioja – It’s been a while since I wanted to taste something of this winery. And I begin with none other than their reserve wine from 2006. Elegant and fine nose with a very smoothen wood hightlighting the fine toasted notes from the barrel. Spicy (black pepper) touch and river and sunflower notes. In the mouth attacks with creamy and slightly acidity, tasty, salty, very elegant, with a smoothen and toasted tannin.
While I was tasting Baigorri wine, Nuria tasted Federico Paternina Selección 2009 – In the nose attacks with notes of smoke, compote, tobacco, a wonderful sweetness with a red terracota-ish and brick red border. In the mouth is acid with a still perceptible tanning but mastered and very fresh.
We also had the chance to taste a reserve wine from one of the most prestigious wineries of Rioja, Luis Cañas Reserva 2006. This mentioned wine is one of those that you should have at home because is one of those perfect wines to be enjoyed slowly and with no hurries. In the nose is still very fruity with touch of wood, with an intense colour it does not have terracota colour borders. Very elegant nose with a touch of good vanilla and spices. In the mouth is very fresh and fruity, as it predicts in the nose, less wooden than the wine tasted before but very tasty, well –balanced and delicious.
After these two great wines, we are recommended to taste Marqué de Cáceres MC 2011 – D.O. Ca Rioja – the modern line of the winery Marqués de Cáceres. In the nose has no complexity but attacks with a nice and curious notes to field and barrel. In the mouth is acid with a good tannin, salty and very spicy. Despite of tasting a young wine after two great reservas, we are sure MC 2011 tasted as it should be it would turn to be suberb.
We try to find a txacoli in the salon, traditional, fresh and young white wine with a bit of carbonic (endogenous) and complex, with characteristical fresh acidity. We find a winery from Rioja Alavesa (Alava is most known for elaborating Rioja wines, but since 2001 becomes Spanish apellation of origin “Txacoli de Alava” and starts elaborating txakoli). Geintza’s family elaborates txakoli for 20 years but one day he decides to create his owne wines under D.O. Ca. Rioja and he presents us his marvellous and interesting project. His wines as they follow.
El Partisano Selección 2009 – D.O. Ca. Rioja – in the nose attacks with powerful fruity, vanilla, leather and pepper notes. In the mouth is very fresh with a moderate tannin. Very fruity with good acidity. Very long aftertaste that invites to drink.
El Partisano (recently bottled) – D.O. Ca. Rioja – 100% Viura – vintaged in barrel and with a year bottled to round the wine. In the nose is a bit short with field and citrus notes. In the mouth is fesh, creamy, sea notes, well-balanced, tasty. Delicious and promising future.
Partisano Garnacha (Gernache) – D.O, Ca. Rioja – 14 months in barrel. In the nose is very sweet, typical from this grape, and has field notes. In the nose is creamy, fresh, well-balanced and very sweet. Where are the barrel notes??.
Partisano Edición Limitada (Limited Edition) – D.O. Ca. Rioja – In the nose is spicy with spices, humidity typical from Basque Country and vanilla notes. Very fine. In the mouth is spicy, fresh, very well-balanced with a very polished wood, tasty with long and toasted aftertaste.
Grenache (fermentation is done in french oak barrels) – D.O. Ca. Rioja – In the nose attacks with fruit compote, harbour, basque field, flowers, spicy, bakery, blackberries notes. In the mouth is potent, polished, fresh, lightly acid, tasty and well-balanced.
We did enjoy our experience with Geintza and his wines. We are sure this winery will become one of favourites. Looking forward to know more about it.
After this experiencie we head off to Hiriart for a short visit before we go to have lunch. We have the chance to taste one of their rosé wines from an apellation of origin that elaborates wine since Xth century, its rosé wines are famous all around our country: Cigales.
With a beautiful lollypop-red colour in the nose attacks with fruit, bakery, citrus and chew-gum notes. In the mouth is creamy, lightly acid with a touch of sour strawberry. Despite the wine is a bit warm, this is the best way to discover the quality of a wine: this is without a doubt a good one.
The first part of our experience at La Nariz de Oro ends with this wine in the glass while we share and chat about wine experiences with Carlos, Inés (Winery managers) and Roel (Export Manager).
After our break (having lunch), we meet our friends of Juvé & Camps, Fernando and Felix and give us the chance to try their last vintage wines.
First of them all is Gregal d’Espiells 2012 (D.O. Penedès), great for summer. In the nose attacks with white fruit, salty notes, terroir, typical moscatel notes. Very expresive nose. With straw yellow colour it is elaborated with Gewürztraminer, Moscatel and Malvasía. In the mouths is fresh and sweet (typcal from the Moscatel grape), easy drinking, with nearly no acidity, with a hint of bitterness that makes it refreshing.
After this refreshing wine, we taste their Millesime 2009 – 100% Chardonnay. D.O. cava – In the nose attacks with bakery and white fruit notes. In the mouth is slightly bitter, fresh, well-balanced, refreshing, tasty, smooth with a hint of citrus. Very nice. Easily perceptible the Chardonnay character. I love it!
Blanc de Noir 2010 with 23 months of barrel. D.O. Cava. Elaborated with Pinot Noir (vinified as a white wine). Bubbles in the glass are more perceptible because it is made with a red grape. In the nose attacks with red fruit, a young wine, compote notes. In the mouth is slightly acid, sour strawberry. Fresh, well-balanced. Lemon sweet. Original, different and very nice.
We finish we taste the last vintage Gran Juvé & Camps – 2008 – D.O. Cava. It is sweet, fresh, well-balanaced, tasty, easy to drink with a big taste of bakery. Nice, nice.
After this visit, we have the chance to taste better and with more time the sparkling wine of Mar de Frades, the first sparkling wine in D.O. Rias Baixas elaborated 100% Albariño. Here is our tasting note (after tasting some of the best Cavas):
In the nose attacks with sweet, bakery, white flowerws and salty notes (that traditional taste of “sea” in Mar de Frades wines). In the mouth is a bit more acid than the cavas we have just tasted, with fine bubble, slightly bitter and with notes of bakery, tasty and salty. We find it a bit short in complexity and refinement in the palatem (less acidity).
Mar de Frades 2012- D.O. Rias Baixas – 100% Albariño. In the nose attacks with lots of fruity – apricot and pineapple-,bakery and salty notes (as mentioned before). In the mouth is very creamy and sweet, salty with a pleasing bitter taste. It needs a bit more time in bottle, but we are sure in a few months this wine will be round and perfect.
After this walk around different white and sparkling wine, we go back to Hiriart. There were a few more wines that we should taste before we move on to the rest of the salon. Great discovery in the region of Valladolid: Cigales. Here are their wiens and our notes about them:
Roble Hiriart – 100% Tempranillo. 4-6 months of barrel. In the nose attacks with fruity, strawberry, butter note, it is spicy and with field notes. In the mouth is very sweet, a bit acid, tasty, fresh, well-balanced, with a good tannin. Surrounding in the mouth with slightly toasted aftertaste. “It reminds of a toast with butter”.
Hiriart Crianza 2009 – D.O. Cigales – Old vineyards. In the nose vanilla, spices, licorice, black fruit, balsamic, black pepper notes with fine toasted notes of the barrel. In the mouth has a well-integrated and good barrel with spice and fruity notes. Full bodied and complet. Good tannin and bitter and fruity aftertaste.
Elite Rosé. D.O. Cigales. In the nose attacks with fresh and sweet, lollypop, sour strawberry, sweet licorice. In the mouth is sweet with a pleasing acidity. Sweet aftertaste. It is like a sparkling wine without bubbles. Refreshing. Sweet and sour, very well-balanced. Full bodied and balanced.
Rosado de Lágrima. D.O. Cigales. It is more fresh and has more “chewing-gum” notes. In the mouth is sweet, refreshing, with little acidity, balanced. Pleasing acidity in the aftertaste. Great for chatting.
We make a little pause in wine tasting and we decide to taste the olive oil La Donaira from Ronda (D.O. Hojiblanca). We are not very experienced in this area but we enjoyed the tasting. In the nose reminds me of “mixed salad” with a beautiful intense green. With the bread sticks it is delicious.
They also elaborate wines, from Málaga. La Donaira. We taste two of them:
100% Cabernet France. 2010. 14,5% vol. (alcohol). In the nose attacks with notes of the grape’s variety character, vanilla. In the mouth is sweet, surrounding, fresh, balanced and slightly acid. Very nice.
La Donaira – Syrah, Cabernet, Sauvignon – 2010. 13,5% vol. (alcohol). In the nose attacks with toasted, cherries, phosphorous. In the mouth is curious, slightly acid, fruity, fresh, balanced, with that hint of phosphorous, tasty. Original and very nice.
We end the day in the best way: tasting some good and well elaborate sherries from Gutierrez Colosia. Our new experience in this fascinating world of Olorosos and Amontillados.
Fino – In the nose attacks with butter and compote notes. In the mouth is tasty, sweet, almond notes typical of Sherry. With a salty hint. Full bodied.
Amontillado 8 years – In the nose attacks with caramel, toasted from the barrel, bread, nuts and raisins notes. In the mouth is acid, tasty, with a good barrel. Balanced and delicious with Spanish cheese. Very fine in the mouth.
Palo cortado – in the nose attacks with sweet raisin and “farm” notes. In the mouth is fresh, balanced, slightly acid but nice. Caramel and toasted. Best pairign with cheese, prawns and desserts.
Oloroso – it is very creamy and smooth in the mouth. Cream one is velvety in the mouth, very sweet: raisins and compote, apple. Delicious!
Their Moscatel is sweet (raisins) and spicy in the nose. It is very balanced with slightly sour in the aftertaste. Very nice.
Pedro Ximenez – with a wonderful nose attacks with pine and wood notes. Surrounding. Marvellous.
We end with their Brandy. Delicious taste in the mouth and vainlla aftertaste.
The following day, July 15th 2013, was the final of La Nariz de Oro. The winner, Joffre Tarrida from Barcelona, was chosen as the best sommelier in Spain. Congratulations, Joffre!
Thanks to everyone at the LNO that made possible this great experience, one more year. We all see you again in 2014!
During the summer the wine events are all postponed until September. We are very much looking forward to all those wonderful experiences and learn from them all!