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VINISUD 2014 - A guest post by Antonio Campos
VINISUD 2014 MONTPELLIER (FRANCE) 24TH-26TH FEBRUARY 2014
SPANISH IMPRESSIONS IN FRANCE FOR OUR FRENCH IMPRESSIONS WEBSITE
Written by Antonio Campos, Management Director at Vintor, Vinos y Distribución S.L.U. Agronomist engineer, Master in Enology & Viticulture, M.B.A. in Wine Companies Direction, partner of Spanish Tasting Group (U.E.C. Unión Española de Catadores), Baco´s Prize Judge. Candidate MW student.
First of all, it´s my first time at this Fair. I Love France!
Thank you very much to Our French Impressions - an e-zine featuring all things French around the World and written by Jean-Marie Liere - for the opportunity to write this article.
I thought it would be useful to go toi Vinisud as good training for my next exams to access the Institute of Masters of Wine (www.mastersofwine.org ). Also, before , I saw in Vinisud 2014 web site that many Master Classes were very interesting too, specially one run by Paolo Basso, Master Sommelier (MS) World Star. 2013 Winner Sommelier´s World Championship.
First Day Monday 02/24
Pagos de Ayles (P.A.), a Spanish Cellar of the North East of Spain (Vino de Pago, the top level in Spain for Quality Wines) kindly gaves me an invitation for the whole Fair.
Thank you very much to Jorge Navascues, Pagos de Ayles´s Technical Director, and partner in only one of my monthly Saturday Blind Tastings because of Jorge lives so far from Madrid.
As well thanks to Fernando Reyes, Pagos de Ayles´s Account Manager who forgave me for my late arrival. And thanks to their Staff, very nice and professional people all of them. And we started by tasting some of their wines:
We began with some White average Wines ready to drink and for daily consumption.
The Star of the tasting was “a” of Ayles 2013, a very good Quality/Price wine.
the last time i have tasted this Wine was in 2010 when they won “Gran Bacchus de Oro” (O.I.V. , U.E.C. Prize) and the quality of the 2013 vintage is similar.
What I really wanted to taste was their “y” of Ayles but they told me that I will taste it at Paolo Basso´s Master Class. So I went on to meet Paolo Basso MS.
“Discovering Mediterranean Wines” Master Class directed by Paolo Basso MS.
Paolo was very dynamic and his tasting notes were very illustrative and focused. Sommeliers, I think, taste thinking about the quality/price ratio, rather than an absolute value.
My Spanish Impressions:
We tasted 11 different wines:
The best without doubt was PIEMONT Borgo Isolabella, Solio di Valdiserre, Loazzolo DOC. A wonderful complex wine with good price for its tremendous quality. It was like the dessert of the Tasting. (The cherry on the cake? Editor's note)
In appearance a bright and depth colour, wonderful and complex nose and in the palate, a fresh attach, perfect body, high and elegant acidity, excellent quality and perfect quantity of residual sugar. Its final retro very beautiful with a high length persistance.
A Great Wine. (93+ points)
Second was from Croatia, Stina Vino, Plavac Mali Majstor 2009, a surprise for me with Central European wines, unknown variety but a very good bodied wine. In appearance a special dark colour, the nose very similar to Nebbiolo Wines.
Paolo said, “It seems like Nebbiolo, lovely aromas. The palate presents a high quantity of quality tannins and long length as well”. (92+ points)
Third would be the Languedoc Mas de Daumas, Gassac Rouge 2007, beating all expectatives for a Languedoc-Roussillon average Wine. Pretty colour, high expression, black olives in nose, tobacco, some animal that disappearing minute by minute, the palate shows a green in the attach, but sweet tannin in retro. Potential long life for this Wine, due to its acidity and the tannins mentioned before. (92 points)
Fourth in my opinion would be the Rhone Valley Domaine de la Mordorée, Lirac Cuvée “La Reine des Bois”millésime 2012, a wine ready to drink with all the attributes now.
High colour. Needs more bottle (2012) very good development will have in my opinion. Not Filoxera grapes. Nose with a high quantity of chocolate, long length, the best quality/price ratio wine of this Tasting in my opinion.(92- points)
Fifth would be Pago de Ayles “Y” of Ayles, Garnacha, Tempranillo, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 from Spain, a wine with all the quality for a very interesting price. Paolo said that this is a “Wine of Pago” similar in terms of quality to a French “Grand Cru” because of a similar terroir plus a very experienced team at the Cellar.
Dark and pretty colour, complex nose with a high level of fruit, palate with very good well balanced acidity/body/less sweetness. Also a surprising value like “a” of Ayles but at a superior level. (91+ points)
in Sixth position, I would put Bodega Luzdivina Amigo, Leira 2007 Mencia R from Spain, good price and high quality for a difficult Mencia Reserve. Difficult because the Spanish variety Mencía is very difficult to manage for ageing.
Only a few examples of success in this field. But this unknowned wine for me until this moment, was a great surprise of well done work. A wine in perfect moment to drink with all the fruit and perfect assimilated wood. (91 points)
Under 90 points on my opinion;
7th position, from Sicily, Emeanuele Scamacca del Murgo , Murgo Etna Bianco 2012
8th D´Oc Country Domaine de L´Engarran Cuvée La Lionne 2011 R
9th Provence, Chateau d´Ollieres Prestige 2013 AOC Coteaux Varois en Provence
10th Veneto, Lugana Citari Lugana DOC Torre 2011
11th Lebanon, El Ixsir Rouge 2010, average wines, no more.
I appreciate the effort from the Lebanon Wineries, but at this stage they are out of the quality market, I think. In 2010 I thought the same at Bordeaux Primeurs, Lebanon Wines were there also.
Note that the Selectioned Wines were very well chosen and presented.
The interest for the Tasting was high from the beginning to the end. Impressive direction by Paolo Basso MS. Easy & Deep.
Moscato D´Asti Master Class
Asti D.O.C.G. Zona D´Origine offered to their attendees (full room as well Paolo´s) a very interesting and instructive Lecture & Clear Tasting.
By the way, one of the producers (Representant of The Associated Producers of Moscato D´Asti) began the Master Class with a whole vision of the “Asti Terroirs”. Then, The Tasting:
Azienda Agrícola Il Gottino di Dabbene Felice, Moscato Spumante Metodo Classico 2009.
Simply the best! Great Asti Q/P wine. Very well dressed bottle. Quality perfectly appreciable as well in nose & palate. 2009! Asti Spumante fresh, perfect bubbles. (93 points)
Azienda Agrícola Terrabianca Moscato of Asti Vignot 2013 D.O.C.G.
Very floral or near flowery. Rose petals in nose.
Long length in palate, very good retropalate. (92 points)
Poderi Roccanera Moscato of Asti D.O.C.G.
Rich acidity, totally balanced in palate and quality bubbles . (91 points)
Moscato Piemonte Passito 2010 D.O.C.
Yellow, low nose, long lenth, much flavour for a Rosé. (90 points)
Azienda Vitivinicola Tenuta Langasco Moscato of Asti D.O.C.G.
Good bubbles in appearance. High expression nose. Elegant.
In palate bakery, the palate is nothing related with nose. (89 points)
Azienda Agrícola Bellati María Carla, Moscato d´Asti Biologico D.O.C.G.
Pale yellow but with much colour than the previous. Pretty flowery nose, grape.
Paolo adds Pinus aroma. Palate with long length. Low acidity and very hot in the moment of retro taste. (89 points)
Azienda Agrícola Ferrero Federico Moscato of Asti D.O.C.G.
Light colour but good average bubbles, very light nose and too much residual sugar. (89 points.)
Cantina Alice Bell Colle S.C.A. Moscato of Asti D.O.C.G., (Moscato Dry)
Pale yellow colour in appearance. More Quality than a normal Moscato because of a good nose.
Palate balanced, good sweetness, but bubbles disappear quickly, before it, soft and cremous bubbles.
Vallebelbo S.C.A. Moscato Piemonte Passito D.O.C.
Normal Appeareance. Good nose, not high level. Average palate. (88 points)
Bocchino´s Giuseppe Di Bocchino Annalisa
A few words only, because of it is a wine without the previous quality. Only for easy drinking.
Azienda vitivinícola Franco Ivaldi Moscato d´Asti D.O.C.G
Appearance, clear yellow. Zero Nose. bOnly good acidity in the palate.
By the end of the day, I would have tasted over 50 Wines!
At Vinisud 2014 like at the Spanish Fair “ Gourmet” (Madrid), the organization presented all the tablev wines for a quick Taste. A good idea I think for students and journalists, common public and so on.
I tasted Marsannes, Roussannes, Champagnes of varied assemblages but vinified in White Wine. Nothing premium. Average Wines.
Rueda´s Verdejo from Spain, Cotes de Provence from France, AOC Provence with Grenache, Cinsault & Carignan.
2012´s Corse IGP-AOP, Provence AOP Specially Domaine Giacometti 2012 Cru Des Agriate with an unknown but rich & original white grape variety named “Vermentino”. (also called Bellet in France and grown around Nice. We featured it recently in our Chateau Miraval article)
Finishing up with some Chateaunauf du Pape, The King of French Grenache.
I´m In love with this wine. I never tasted a Wine from this Appellation that I didn't like!
I´m in love with Grenache all over the World, specially and foremost the French ones.
Second, my country´s Grenache Wines, Spain. Specially Northern East of Spain ones. Like Pago de Ayles, mentioned before.
Second Day 02/25
Master Class Vins de Provence Rosés
The Master Class began with an explanation telling us about the Terroir and Vineyards.
Research in colour material, comparing Countries and other Rosé regions with Vins de Provence.
Organization of appellation, etc
Research in neutralized alcohol excess, acidity control, colour intensity and diversity, social analisys of their consumers and potentials….Marvelous!!
Chateau Vignelaure, Chateau Vignelaure Rosé, Coteaux d´Aix-en-Provence, 2013
Rosé clear. Some complex aromas, but banana in depth. Some fruits in palate, better than 4 wines tasted before. (89 points)
Chateau La Calisse, Patricia Ortelli, Coteaux Varois en Provence 2013
Near no colour. Aromas of White flowers and red fruits. Well balanced body/alcohol, some hot in retro. (88 points)
Premiere de Figuiere, Saint André Figuiere, Cotes de Provence 2013
High colour. Red fruit in nose. Full Bodied wine, high alcohol level, but well balanced. (85 points)
Mas de Cadenet, Mas de Cadenet, Cotes de Provence, Sainte Victoire 2013
Same color tan the previous. A nose only with banana and some citrics. Less alcohol than fisrt one. Correct produced. (82 points)
Bastide du Curé, La Vidaubanaise, Cotes de Provence 2013
Bright and pretty wine in appearance. Bubbles disappear in a few seconds, nose with citrics & strawberry, High alcohol level, hot, is only alcohol in palate. (80 points)
Tasting Vinnico Spanish Wines:
Special Thanks to Jonas Tofterup (Vinnico Technical Manager in the Northern of Spain, based in Valladolid) and a team member of my Blind Tasting Groupe in Madrid)
And to David Giménez Vinnico Zone Manager, who was my partner in this tasting and commented with me on each Wine, each price and some interesting things and curiosities as well as technical data.
Trenza, D.O. Yecla 2008 I´ve tasted this wine before with Jonas Tofterup. It is a wine with a pretty colour, it belongs to D.O. Yecla an up and coming D.O. in Spain. The nose is very complex, in the palate full bodied wine, long length, very rich on the attach and retro. The best value wine of the Group. (91points)
Oráculo, Ribera del Duero 2009 Top wine of this tasting with beautiful aromas, well done, well balanced acidity/body. (91+ points)
Radio Boca, Verdejo , Vinnico, Rueda 2013
Export to several countries in Europe, very fresh and average White wine, very cheap, spectacular and pretty to Give Bag in Box, must see!
Viña Altamar Rueda 2013
Fresh easy to drink white wine.
Aventino de la Tierra de Castilla y León,2013
Montgó, Yecla 2013.
Pasas , D.O Jumilla 2013, average wine.
Gran Pasas D.O Jumilla 2011, 1st Quality Wine with a very good Price.
Aventino Roble, Ribera del Duero 2013, very interesting value wine.
And with this tasting finished, I left the Fair to go to Sant Joan Despí (Barcelone, Spain) for a Mock Blind and WorkShop Tasting at the Stunning Shop with its Wine Lover Director David González) Shop named “Vinoscopio” www.vinoscopio.com. An ex-U.E.C. mate from Madrid, Spain, that currently lives now in Barcelone (Santiago Fernández), (www.vinoexpresion.com) kindly invites me to participate). It is a must see shop near Barcelone! The tasting included 16 white and red Spanish Wines, from Galicia, Albariños of D.O.Rias Baixas, the new Ribeiros, from Aragon Enate….and more! Certainly an interesting trip from Madrid to Montpellier and Barcelona.
On two recent occasions, I had the pleasure and privilege to taste two different Pinots, one from Burgundy and one from...New Zealand.
Ultimo Wine Centre Hospice de Beaune Savigny Les Beaune 1er Cru ‘Cuvee Forneret’, 2007
Ultimo Wine Centre bought a barrel at auction in November, and this is the result. At last count 186 bottles left. Just run and buy some. At A$79.95, it is a bargain. We drank it for Mother's Day Dinner. see menu and recipe here.
“Purple-red of medium depth, with open, fresh aromatic nose. On the palate this has pure fruitiness, flesh and fine tannins. It is a lovely Savigny for early to mid-term drinking.” (Anthony Hanson, Auctioneer Christies)
Tarras Vineyards Pinot Noir 2008, Central Otago
We had this wine for my birthday recently at Capital Grill. I wish the food had been up to it. See review here
A blend of Pinot Noir from The Steppes and The Canyon Vineyards. Deep, concentrated dark cherry fruits integrated with fine ripe tannins.
5 Stars Cuisine Magazine (November 2009)
Top 10 New Zealand Pinot Noir - Wine New Zealand Magazine (October 2009)
BEST IMPORT 94/100 Sydney Morning Herald, March 2010
An exciting new producer with two $50 reserve wines as well as this excellent estate blend. Foresty, earthy, black-fruit complexities and a savoury, burgundy-like palate with power and structure. Classy flavour and good concentration, with less oak than the reserve wines. Now to five years.
Huon Hooke, SMH Good Living
Huon Hooke has also put this wine in his newly published list of the 50 best wines for 2010.
Definitely up there with the French!
Pessac Leognan - The Heart of Bordeaux
Over the years, I have had the chance to drink wines from three Chateaux from that region:
Chateau Haut Brion red - can't remember the vintage, sorry,
Domaine de Chevalier 1975 white
and for Valentine Day in 2010, Chateau Carbonnieux 2005 White.
This is a very good example of a Sauvignon Semillon blend (60%-40%), the aromas of white fruits and almonds being a perfect companion for the spicy scallops, as it has strength and depth.
It was maybe even more in tune with the burnt fig, caramel, and honeycomb ice cream from Maggie Beer
My favourite Cotes-du-Rhone
Well, this is my favourite wine for everyday (almost...). It is perfect with meat, Thai food, Indian food, cheese, bien sur... It cost a mere 20A$ in Sydney by the bottle and you can easily save up to 30% in a dozen. To upgrade and stay in the Rhone Valley, you would have to spend twice as much for a St Joseph, a Chateunuef-du-Pape or a Gigondas or even more for a Cote Rotie...
I have entertained many of my guests over the years with several vintages of this wine. We currently drink the 2007, as the 2005 seems to have been all drunk, at least in Sydney! The 2005 is actually rounder, less tannic than the 2007.
On the photo, ready to drink with a selection of goat cheese from Willowbrae Cheese, recently featured on MasterChef and loaf from the Moana Bakery in Rozelle: a treat!