19 April -Ca La Iaia – Moraira

Members enjoying a pre dinner drink 

51 Members and guests assembled at Ca La Iaia for the April tasting given by Bodegas

The President welcoming members, speaker and guests

Enrique Mendoza, DO Alicante.  The winery was established  at the end of the 70’s, when Enrique Mendoza became extremely interested in the world of wine. Today that start has been transformed into two wineries, one for the ageing and bottling of the wine in Alfaz del Pi, from which their wines are positioned in the national and international markets and a second one in Villena( “Finca El Chaconero”), close to the “ Virgen de las Virtudes” sanctuary.  President Paul Nicholls introduced the speaker Cristian Castañeyra who is the oenologist at the bodega, and also welcomed Enrique who was attending the tasting.   

Enrique Mendoza

Pepe Mendoza, Enrique’s son has also started producing his own wine range under the name of Casa Agrícola Pepe Mendoza.  The grapes (only available varietals of Mediterranean origin) are grown in a completely natural way, under ecological guidelines and with little intervention.  “Casa Agrícola” is launching a white, a rosé and a red wine from varietals such as Moscatel, Macabeo, Airén, Monastrell, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet.    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 speaker: Cristian


The first wine we tasted was from Pepe’s project and was Casa Agrícola Pepe Mendoza Blanco 2017 a blend of 40% Moscatel, 40% Macabeo and 20% Airén.   The wine was very fresh with good acidty a taste of itrus an a little bit mineralised.   It has a pale, very clean and bight, yeow colourand the Alcohol by Volume (ABV) is 13.5%

The second wine tasted was also a white: Enrique Mendoza Blanco Fermentado en Barrica 2016 a 100% Chardonnay: The grapes were harvested in 2nd week in September and were macerated for 3 hours and then fermented at a low temperature (16ºC) in new French Oak Allier barrels, remaining with its lees and yeasts until April.   The wine has a straw yellow colour wine with golden shades.   It has the typical aromas of the Chardonnay variety with touches of the smoking acquired while fermenting in the barrel. The wine has a good balance, a good concentration in acidity, alcohol percentage and a good ageing in the barrel. The after taste is long and harmonious and it has an ABV of 13%.

Speaker, Enrique and Tim

During a brief intermission in he proceedings, Tim Fawle asked Enrique a few questions on behalf of members

The third wine we tasted was Enrique Mendoza Merlot Monastrell Crianza 2016.   The soil where it is grown is limestone and sandy soil where thanks to a good drainage the plants are directed in a double- guyot pruning, which is ideal to distribute and control the quantity of grapes per plant and delay their ripening.  This wine has been fermented in small stainless steel deposits at a 26ºC temperature for 20 days. The malolactic fermentation was done in the barrel and the ageing was done for 12 months in French Oak Allier barrels and American Oak barrels from Oregon. This wine has a medium- high intense ruby red colour with burgundy shades.   It is a mature and serene wine with subtle and elegant tannin, with aromas of rosemary, together with red berries and some floral aromas.   It has an ABV of 14%

The next red was Enrique Mendoza Estrecho Monastrell 2015.  Estrecho is a 100% Monastrell wine made from a single vineyard located at 700 meters above sea level with some special characteristics in the thin sandy soil that make it unique.  It is a traditional vineyard with 1500 plants per hectare in a traditional pruning with no irrigation.  This wine has aged for 14 months in new French Oak 500 litres barrels.  It is a ruby red colour wine with tints of burgundy, clean and shiny with a lot of fruitful aromas that combine perfectly with the aromas given by the ageing in the barrel without these being predominant.   This wine is easy to drink with grainy and soft tannins. The wine is fresh and acid, which helps it live for a long time, the alcoholic percentage is long and oily. It has an ABV of 14%.

Finally we tasted Dolç de Mendoza a natural sweet wine made from 100% Monastrell. It is only in special years that this wine can be made, because very good quality and healthy grapes are needed for them to resist the over ripening of the plant until they are harvested in the first week of December.

VP Maureen proposing the vote of thanks

Once grapes have been harvested they are squashed and destalked in the winery and they go into stainless steel deposits for fermentation.   The yeasts transform the sugar concentrated in the grapes into alcohol, achieving an ABV of15%. Due to this alcoholic concentration many of the yeasts die, leaving a lot of residual sugar providing the wine with a fair amount of alcohol concentration and sugar.  After the fermentation the wine goes into new French Oak barrels for three years in order to soften up the tannins and provide the wine with toasted and smoked aromas that will appear in the aftertaste.  It is an intense cherry red wine with violet shades.   On the nose the primary aromas of berries such as blackberries, blueberries and strawberries, also smoked aromas and spices like cinnamon and cloves. In the mouth its high concentration in glycerine and residual sugars leave us with soft tannins and acidity that cleanses. In the aftertaste there are subtle touches of smoked aromas and toasted bread that persist in the mouth for a long time.

The vote of thanks to the speaker was given by Vice President Maureen Holliday.

Members at the tasting
Text and photos by Gaby Ferenczy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   April 2018