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09.30.2004

Spain's Latest Vintage: A Report From the 2004 Wine & Tapas Great Match Tasting

On Tuesday of this week I attended a rather glitzy event called "The Great Match: Wine and Tapas 2004," put on by the Trade Commission of Spain which was an unadulterated marketing ploy for Spanish wine and associated food products (cheeses, olive oils, etc.). It was quite the affair with tickets running $50 a pop and catering tables by some of the top chefs and restaurants in the city including Gerald Hirogoyen of Piperade, Michael Mina, Martin Castillo of Limon, Jack Yoss at Postrio, Khai Duong from Ana-Mandara, Robert Riescher from Tablespoon, Stephen Barber from Mecca, and David Bazirgan from Baraka.

I attended the press tasting prior to the main event, so sadly I was unable to sample the delectables these folks had on offer, but I keep telling myself that I was just there for the wine.

Unfortunately, the wines on offer were mostly disappointing when taken as a whole group. Spain is billed as this huge rising star, but if one were to use this tasting as a representative sample, much of the winemaking is still clunky with over-oaking being the primary flaw. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I should say that Tempranillo is not one of my favorite varietals, but I have had some good ones, and there were unfortunately few that made it past the mark of "good" in my book. The whites, primarily Albariños showed better.

It was still a worthwhile event, as it gave me some more exposure to the various regions of Spain (as well as being a good prep for WBW2 next week). Additionally I was able to meet Enoch Choi, a regular commenter here at Vinography and fellow blogger (sometimes about wine), in person -- something that's always a pleasure.

Here are the wines that that I found to be notable from the event:

MY FAVORITES
2003 Valminor Albariño, Adegas Valmiñor, Rias Baixas. Light, fresh, incredibly floral with heavy melon and stone fruit on the nose, crisp and dry through the finish. Score: 9. Cost: $15


2001 Fra Guerau, Vinas del Montsant, Monsant (Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo, Grenache, Carignan, Cabernet, Monastrell). A very unusual medley of varietals yielding dark fruits with moderate tannins. Not the best tasting wine of the day, but certainly the best value. Score: 8.5/9. Cost: $12

RED
1998 Miguel Torres "Mas La Plana," Catalunya (single vineyard Cabernet). Score: 9. Cost: $46.2000 Absis, Pares Balta, Penedes. Good, but could have had half the tannins it did. Score: 9 Cost: $55.
2000 Torre Muga, Rioja (80% old vine tempranillo, 15% Cabernet, 5% ??) Score: 9 Cost: $65
2001 Les Sorts "Old Vines" (Grenache, Carignan, Cabernet). A method carbonica wine. Score: 8.5 Cost: ??
2000 Ardevol, Priorat (Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, and Cabernet). Score: 8.5/9. Cost: $50
2000 Scala Dei Cartoixa, Priorat (Grenache and Cabernet). Score: 8.5/9. Cost: $26.99
1998 Finca Valpiedra Riserva, Rioja (90% Tempranillo, 10% ??). Score: 8.5/9. Cost: $32
2000 Sierra Cantabria Crianza, Rioja. Score: 8.5/9. Cost: $18
2001 Fra Guerau, Vinas del Montsant, Monsant (Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo, Grenache, Carignan, Cabernet, Monastrell). Score: 8.5/9. Cost: $12
2001 Mas Igneus FA 206, Priorat. Score: 8.5/9. Cost: $20
2001 Clos Manyetes, Clos Mogador, Priorat (95% Carignan, 5% Grenache). Score: 8.5. Cost: $90


WHITE
2003 Pazo Pondal Albariño, Rias Baixas. Score: 9. Cost: $18
2003 Valminor Albariño, Adegas Valmiñor, Rias Baixas. Score: 9. Cost: $15
2003 Aura Verdejo (Verdelho), Rueda. (9% Sauvignon Blanc). Score: 8.5. Cost: $18.

Comments (5)

enoch choi wrote:
10.01.04 at 1:43 AM

remember, the pricing is suggested retail, so you can find alot of these for a bit less. I agree in general with your feel on spanish wines. Too light in body, too sweet in oak. Some nice ones i'll blog on soon... and look forward to your interview being posted ;)

01.21.05 at 7:53 AM

Dear sir,

First of all, thanks for your nice words after attending the Wine & Tapas Great Match. My name is Cristina Blanco and I am the person in charge of exports regarding the albariño Valmiñor 2003. I was very pleased to read your comments after tasting my wine in the "Great Match". I really appreciate.
Unfortunately people who organised the event didn't print the catalogues correctly and the Albariño Valmiñor 2003 is not from Bodegas Pazo de San Mauro but from ADEGAS VALMIÑOR. It was a mistake they've made. Anyway this mail is just to let you know this and for thanking you for the tasting and the comments about my wine.

Again, all my gratitude.

Yours faithfully,

Cristina Blanco
Adegas Valmiñor
Mail: [email protected]

Alder wrote:
01.21.05 at 8:29 AM

Thank you for the information, I have corrected my posting to reflect the proper name.

Melissa wrote:
11.05.05 at 8:15 AM

Does anyone know where I can buy the Scala Dei Cartoixa Reserve 2000? thank you, Melissa

10.23.14 at 8:47 AM

Hi, i think that i noticed you visited my blog so i got
here to go back the favor?.I am trying to find issues to enhance my website!I
assume its adequate to make use of a few of your concepts!!

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