Tasting 19th October 2017 – Restaurant Abiss – Calpe

Members enjoying pre dinner drinks in the Champagne Bar

President John Sloggie welcomed 64 members to “Whose wine is it anyway” presented by members Caryl and Gordon Sellars at Restaurant Abiss in Calpe   Gordon introduced the tasting by  announcing that as usual members would receive three presentations from himself, Caryl, and Mary Anderton for each wine tasted but only one would be correct for the wine being tasted. The task was to decide who is telling the truth and who is bluffing. Members where first asked to identify the correct wine and the table which got the most correct would receive a prize.   Once the truth was revealed, members scored the wine in the usual way.  .   The cost of each wine and where it can be purchased and average score given by members is shown in the list of wines tasted in 2017, which can be found by clicking on “Wines tasted in 2017”.

The first wine came from Torres and was introduced by Gordon as being Viña Esmerelda 2016, a blend of Moscatel and Gewurztraminer in the DO of Catalunya.   Mary begged to differ and introduced the wine as Fransola, being 100% Sauvignon Blanc, while Caryl declared it to be the hugely popular Viña Sol made from Paradella and Garnacha Blanca.   The wine was in fact Viña Esmerelda a brilliant straw yellow with fragrant orange blossom nose with delicate nuances of exotic fruit and a hint of apple jam.   It is smooth and luscious on the palate leaving a subtle honeyed after taste.

The second white wine presented came from Enate in DO Somontano, a winery founded in 1991. Gordon introduced the wine as Enate Chardonnay -234 2015 a 100% Chardonnay, while Mary said it was an Enate chardonnay Fermentado en Barrica 2015, a close call for tasters.   However Caryl declared this an Enate Gewurtztraminer 2015 which achieves 92 points in the Guía Peñín.  The correct answer was the Enate Chardonnay Fermentado en Barrica 2015 the grapes of which are always harvested at night.  The appearance of the wine is golden straw and very clear.   On the nose there are distinctive hints of cabbage with oak notes and the palate is buttery, fat, fruity, dry and herby.   Enate barrel is a creamy, lush and elegant wine.

The first red came from Bodegas Habla in Extramadura and Gordon introduced it as Habla del Silencio 2015 a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo.  Mary introduced the wine as Habla 15 mad from 100% Tempranillo with an Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of 14.5% and matured in French oak barrels for 12 months.  Caryl however claimed this to be Habla La Tierra a blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Malbec which had spent 4 months in oak barrels.   Once again it was Mary who had the right wine; Habla 15 an intense ruby red colour with a nose of pomegranate, cherry and woodland fruits.  On the mouth it was full and large.

The next red came from the stable of Enrique Mendoza in DO Alicante and Gordon said it was Santa Rosa 2014, a wine developed to commemorate Enrique Mendoza’s Mother; Rosa Cortes Devesa.   Mary spoke of it as Enrique Mendoza Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, 30% Shiraz 70% Cabernet Sauvignon coming from Mendoza’s finca El Chaconero.   Caryl meanwhile claimed that the wine was Las Quebradas 2014 and so it proved to be.  Enrique Mendoza Las Quebradas 2014 is one of the more recent additions to the Mendoza portfolio.   A100% Monastrell made from 70 year old wines from the estates Las Quebradas vineyard at almost 2000 feet above sea level.   Fermented in open top wooden tanks it is then aged for 15 months in French oak before maturing in bottle.   It has a glorious bright cherry colour and an explosion of dark fruits, black pepper and thyme on the nose.   It scored 94 points in the Guía Peñín.

Finally a wine from Bodegas Atalaya, introduced by Gordon as Alaya Tierra 2015 the flagship wine from the bodega and made from 100% Garnacha Tintorera using old vines in excess of 50 years old.   In the view of Mary this wine was La Atalaya Del Camino 2015 a blend of 85% Garnacha Tintorera and 15% Monastrell aged for 12 months in French Oak with a powerful ABV of 15.5%.   Finally Caryl said it was the workhorse wine of the bodega namely Atalaya Laya 2015 made from 75% Garnacha Tintorera and 25% Monastrell.   Gordon finished as he started and the wine was declared as Atalaya Alaya Tierra 2015 which is aged for 15 months in American and French oak.   The result is a wine of great power and depth with an ABV of 16% and displaying a colour of dark intense black cherries.   On the nose it releases aromas of damp earth, very ripe black fruit, black olives and laurel.  It has a silky texture and a finish with no hard edges.

President John Sloggie proposed the vote of thanks to Caryl, Gordon and Mary and in particular to Caryl who wrote all the scripts for the three “liars”.

Members dining and tasting
Text by Gaby Ferenczy from the notes of Caryl Sellars, Photos by Gaby Ferenczy                                                                                                                                                      October 2017