To honor the recent Euro 2012 Champions successful title defense, MOT was happy to host a wine night devoted to Spain. The line-up for this match boasted some real heavyweight favorites as well as some interesting newcomers. Overall, another memorable evening shared with good company enjoying fine wines and great food, what more could you ask for?
We started off with an organic cava from producer Pares Balta. Fresh, clean entry with a soft, creamy mousse, it quenched our thirst nicely with decent acidity and dry finish of green fruits. Consisting of Parellada, Macabeo, and Xarel.lo grapes, this cava was an interesting experience for us. At approximately $20, this sparkler gets a value for money nod and did we mention its organic too?
Next up was 2009 Telmo Rodriguez’s Basa Blanco, a white blend of Verdelho, Viura, and Sauvignon Blanc. A pleasant wine for just under $20 that would do well on any BC patio this summer. Good balance of floral and fruit all around and a very smooth finish. We have been interested in trying this wine for some time as it is often sold out on the store shelves, lucky for us we have connections!
The 2009 Martin Codax Burgans Albarino was yet another of those “We’ve sold out of it” Spanish whites that have taunted us month in and month out. At around $25 it doesn’t scream value as much to some, but it is a great example of Spanish Albarino in the BC market. Its melon and green fruit nose combined nicely with its minerality and acidity to create a wonderful wine that would pair well with most seafood. If you haven’t tried an Albarino yet, keep an eye out for this one.
From several colleagues came high recommendations to try our next featured wine from Descendientes de J. Palacios. 2008 “Petalos” is made with the obscure Mencia grape from the Bierzo region of Northern Spain and it got a few double-takes! “Holy Hubba-Bubba” summed up the bubble gum nose noted by one MOT member, while others spoke of its silty, ripe berry and violet characteristics. Definitely one of the more interesting bottles cracked this evening and a great learning experience. Apparently the 2009 is blockbuster, so grab it if you can, it’s worth the $30ish price tag.
Eternum Viti sounds more like a Biology class test answer than a Spanish red wine, however it is one to consider when you’re considering a Tempranillo. The grapes are sourced from 30-40 year old vines from the Toro region of Spain and its produced by Bodegas Abanico. The 2008 vintage provides medium bodied, earthy black fruit on the palate with vanilla and toasty oak wafting from the glass. This young wine could benefit from some meats or cheese as we found and at the mid $20 price point, you could buy one for now and keep the other for a few years.
Hailing from the secret cache of one MOT fan came an elegant beauty by Francesca Vincent Robert called Abat Domenech from 2004. This 93+ Parker rated gem stunned us with its delicate, perfumed nose and silky, well-integrated tannins. The interesting blend of Garnacha and Cabernet dazzled us, its power and finesse combined in harmony to create a seamless wine. It was one of those wines that make you feel like if it was the only wine served, that would be just fine. We didn’t ask how much this one cost, but for this top-end Priorat it would be a surprise to see a price tag north of $50.
The 2003 Termes “Numanthia” is a colossal wine in every sense. Massive fruit extraction was the first clue as the near inky-black cork bottom revealed itself to our thirsty eyes. Having left the decanter elsewhere, we popped the cork about 1.5 hours before diving in to find pungeant aromas of very ripe, black fruit, vanilla and sun-baked earthiness bouncing back at us. This is the little brother to “Termanthia”, a wine profiled in our 95+point blog, and it is a steal at around $80 for a very classy Tempranillo that you will not forget about. A super-lengthy finish caps off a top-shelf experience that begs for another sip, hooked yet?
For our final wine, Lustau East India Solera Sherry took the stage and won the crowd with its captivating aromas of nuts, tobacco and spice. On the palate, this Oloroso style enters smooth with definite sweetness, rich nutty complexity and a peppery finish. It paired beautifully with the sun-dried figs and walnuts that managed to get past the hands of the Numanthia drinkers. At $20, this beauty should be a no-brainer when considering an alternative to late bottle vintage (or LBV) port. Satisfaction guaranteed if you’ve got the late night sweet cravings!