Members enjoying pre tasting drinks
61 members and guests assembled at the Swiss Hotel in Moraira, a new venue for the society. President Paul Nicholls introduced the presenter from Bodega Aljibes who was
David Lopez, the National Sales Manager. As he spoke only Spanish, Tim Fawle undertook the translation. David informed us that very generously we were going to taste six of their wines: one White one Rosado and four Reds. The society had visited the bodega
on their Autumn trip in 2017, but while those on the trip had tasted several of the wines, they were of different years from the ones we tasted during the evening. The cost of each wine, where it can be purchased and average score given by members is shown in the list of wines tasted in 2018, which can be found by clicking on Wines Tasted in 2018.
The Bodega Los Aljibes is located in Finca Los Aljibes, in the municipality of Chinchilla de Montearagón, Albacete. The winery is surrounded by 178 hectares of vineyard with 12/13 varieties of vines, cultivated at almost a thousand meters of altitude. Started in 1998, the new winery was opened in 2008. About 85% of its wines are exported mainly to the USA.
The first wine we tasted was Viña Aljibes Blanco 2017 a blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Chardonnay. The Chardonnay is hand picked and the Sauvignon Blanc is mechanically harvested by night. This attractive wine displays a pale straw colour, an exotic bouquet of fresh passion fruit combined with the elegant ageing notes of Chardonnay, a long palate of tropical fruit underpinned by refreshing acidity. The wine has an Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of 12.5%
Viña Aljibes Rosado 2017, the second wine, is 100% Syrah,the only one in Spain produced from 100% Syrah.. The grapes of this wine are picked in the optimum ripening moment. A low temperature fermentation process is used. This spectacular rosé displays a bright and deep raspberry colour, seductive aromas of strawberry and caramel,has a well balanced palate and has a distinct acidity. This wine also has an ABV of 12.5%.
The first red was Aljibes 2015 a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (35%), Merlot (45%) and Cabernet Franc (20%) is highly favoured by the Spanish Royal family.. The grapes of this wine have gone through a triple selection process. Each variety is vinified separately. It is aged for 12 months in American and French oak barrels and 3 months in French oak vats of 10,000 litres. It has an ABV of 14% and has an intense cherry-colour with mineral and berry aromas, and is elegant and structured in the mouth.
The next red was Aljibes Garnacha Tintorera 2015 which as the name implies is a monovarietal wine (made 100% from the grape). The grapes of this wine are hand picked and fermented at 25ºC of temperature and then matured in French oak vats for 10 months, so all the fruit and elegance of this original variety typical of the area is respected. The wine is aged for 10 months in French oak vats. It is violet, with fresh and ripe fruit aromas. Large and tasty on the palate with lots of fruit nuances it has an ABV of 14%..
Aljibes Cabernet Franc 2014 was another monovarietal. The vines are grown at a height of over 1,00 metres, which is favoured by this grape. The grapes of this wine have gone through a triple selection process and been aged for 16 months in French oak. This wine has an intense colour with aromas of ripe fruit, minerals and spices. It is structured and velvety in the mouth, with overtones of fruit. It has an ABV of 14%.
Finally we tasted Selectus 2011 a wine of Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, resulting from the selection of best bunches of each variety in a painstaking
process involving both natural and modern technologies. Using airbags which put a slight pressure on the wines, the extracted “tear” wines go into new French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and ageing. The subsequent blending occurs in French oak vats. Very few bottles of this splendid wine are released, and only if the year has been exceptionally good. It has been aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels. This red wine displays a brilliant, deep cherry colour. Malolactic fermentation and ageing in new French oak barrels confers Selectus a unique nose with complex aromas of minerals and coffee with balsamic hints. Fleshy on the palate, with soft and ripe tannins underpinned by a good backbone, Selectus can be enjoyed now or be laid down for 5 to 10 years. It has an ABV of 15%.
President Paul Nicholls thanked the staff of the Swiss hotel for the excellent meal and service and thanked and complimented Tim Fawle on his translation.
The formal vote of thanks to Bodega Aljibes and the presenter was proposed by Gillian Ashworth, in both Spanish and English..
Members enjoying the tasting
Text and Photos by Gaby Ferenczy February 2018