15th January 2015 – Restaurante La Senia – Denia

As an innovation, last year’s President organised a tasting called “Whose wine is it anyway?” It was based on the TV series Call My Bluff and was enjoyed to the extent that our current President Gordon Sellars decided we should have a repeat this year.

President Gordon opening the evening

President Gordon opening the evening

Again the event was held in Restaurant La Senia and 53 members and 4 guests tasted five wines each of which was presented by three members: Caryl Sellars, Mary Anderton and John Sloggie. However only one of them was telling the truth about the wine we tasted and members had to decide which one was correct. Even the three bluffers were unaware as to who was correct for Gordon had written their scripts and the wine bottles were covered as in a blind tasting. Once uncovered and the truth revealed each wine was scored in the normal way by members. The average score given by members to each wine is given in red.

The Three bluffers

The Three bluffers

Caryl introduced the first wine as a Blanc de Trilogia from Casa Los Frailes, while Mary said it was a 100% Godello from DO Valdeorras close to Galicia and finally John stated it was Cullerot 2013 from Cellar de Roure in DO Valencia. It was Mary who presented the correct wine the 100% Godello, a traditional local variety which is emerging as a truly noble grape. The renowned wine critic, Jancis Robinson, describes it as having the structure of white Burgundy with the finesse of a juicy mineral grape. This 2013 example called Bolo from Bodegas Rafael Palacios had fruity aromas and slatiness typical of the region and the fresh and balanced flavour not dissimilar to Albariño but with more body and tropical fruits. Costing 7.00€ members gave it 83.5 points while in the Guía Peñín it scored 91 points.

Mary introducing her wine

Mary introducing her wine

Mary then introduced wine number two as Sola Fred Blanco 2013 from Cellar Maroig in DO Montsant, but John contended it was the 2013 Luis Alegre Blanco Selección from DO Rioja and Caryl presented it as Urbezo Chardonnay 2013 from DO Cariñena, which turned out to be the wine we were tasting. It had all the elegance of a perfectly balanced, unoaked Chardonnay. On the nose you could detect floral notes particularly violets with ripe fruits including pears and apples. On the palate the wine was powerful, rich and long but with none of the flabbiness that a poorly made Chardonnay can produce. It scored 90 points in the Guía Peñín, costs 6.50€ and society members marked it as ­­­84.7 points

John talking about his wine

John talking about his wine

The first red was presented by John as Pago Florentino 2010 from Bodegas Arzuaga while Caryl said it was one of her and Gordon’s favourites from Extramadura, Habla de Silencio, while Mary opined that it was a Bobal from Bodega Sierra Norte in Utiel Requena appropriately named Pasión de Bobal. It was John who introduced the correct wine, the Pago Florentino, a 100% Tempranilllo, although they choose to call it Cencibel in many parts of this region. The nose was very aromatic with ripe red berry fruit, coffee and sweet spices. On the palate there was a toasty flavour with the fruit and it was rich and powerful with a very long finish. Members gave it 87.9 points and the Guía awarded 90. It costs 12.05€.

Caryl bluffing

Caryl bluffing

John also introduced wine number four as Les Alcusses 2010 from Celler del Roure in DO Valencia, on the other hand Mary said we were trying Cesar Principe 2010 produced in DO Cigales situated in Castilla Leon. Caryl was adamant that it was Pago los Balgueses Merlot from Bodegas Vegalfaro in Utiel Requena. Once again it was only Mary telling the truth. The grape of the Cesar Principe is 100% Tempranillo and the wine aged in oak for 14 months. We last tasted it in February when Gordon introduced this star wine which scores 94 points in Peñin. On the nose it had beautiful aromas of ripe fruit and spice with a touch of coffee. On the palate it burst with flavour, toasty fruits and good round tannins with an endless finish. It cost 18.50€ and members awarded it 88.0 points

The final wine was introduced by Mary as something of a CBWS favourite; Valdueza Crianza 2010 from DO Extramadura. Caryl maintained it was Tinto Arzuega Reserva de Familia from Bodegas Navarro in the DO of Ribero del Duero and finally John called it Castell des Pinyeres 2011 from Celler el Masroig in Monsant, which proved to be correct. The blend is Carigñan and Garnacha with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, the grapes all coming from old vines. It is aged for 12 months in oak and which produces the creamy oak on the nose combined with ripe fruits and spices. There was lots of flavour on the palate which was fruity, toasty, balanced, intense and very long. With a Peñin score of 91 points at was the cheapest of the wines at 5.00€. Members scored it as 89.6 points.

Everyone agreed that the selection of the wines, made by Caryl and Gordon was outstanding and the food also proved to be a winner. Gaby Ferenczy proposed the vote of thanks to Caryl and Gordon for an excellent evening and a fitting way for Gordon to round off his term as President.

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Members enjoying the tasting
Text by Gordon Sellars and Gaby Ferenczy, photos by Gaby Ferenczy January 2015