Tasting 20th October 2016 Restaurante Abiss – Calpe

Dehesa del Carrizal – Vino de Pago

Pre-dinner drinks in the Champagne Bar

Pre-dinner drinks in the Champagne Bar

Another great Wine Tasting thanks to the wines presented by Juan José Tarud (Head of Sales at Dehesa del Carrizal) and all the team at the Abiss Restaurant in Calpe as planned by Colin & Sue (CBWS Menus & Venues).

The evening started with a champagne reception at the associated ‘Champagne Bar’, which has a really great setting overlooking Calpe Bay and the Peñón de Ifach but regrettably the heavy rain obscured our view.

VP Paul Nicholls opening the tasting

VP Paul Nicholls opening the tasting

Vice-President Paul Nicholls hosted the night standing in for President John Sloggie.  He welcomed the 60 CBWS members and guests and then was very pleased to introduce Juan José from Dehesa del Carrizal  and that we were all looking forward to the opportunity to taste their Pago Wines from the Toledo area of Spain.  Whilst the CBWS had visited this area on the May 2016 Wine Trip it hadn’t included a visit to their winery.

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 2016, which can be found by clicking on “Wines tasted in 2016”.

Juan José

Juan José

Juan José explained that the Dehesa del Carrizal estate is placed in the middle of the Montes de Toledo, near the Cabañeros National Park, between Tajo and Guadiana basins.  It owes its success to the ‘Terroir’ – the genetic patrimony and combination of soils, climate and the human factor.

Dehesa del Carrizal is a Vino de Pago, the highest category according to Spanish wine law. It is a DOP (Denominación de Origen Protegida –Protected Designation of Origin) reserved for those few wineries and vineyards which carry out the whole process –from the grape to the bottle– within the limits of the Pago or estate. The unique location, soil and climate are the key to obtaining exceptional wines.

The first wine was a Chardonnay 2013 (only 6893 bottles produced), 13.5%, and Peñín gave the 2012cas-table-p1000509 vintage 92 points.  The bodega had experimented to move away from a previously ‘Oaky’ taste to a more easy-drinking wine.  It has a bright and intense greenish yellow look, with white fruit aroma together with some honey and pastry notes. Fresh, light, and pleasant in the mouth with a long finish.

It is the result of a careful production process: harvested in September to allow for full ripening with fermentation in new French oak barrels at controlled temperature and three-month on fine lees in similar barrels. Afterwards, the wine is kept in the bottle for at least 6 months to produce an aromatic and soft white, best tasted between 10º and 12ºC.

The second wine was Syrah, 2012 (20178 bottles produced), 15%, and Peñín gives this vintage 90 points.  The bodega uses concrete tanks in their production process, with further malolactic fermentation taking place in new large French oak barrels. It spends another year in 250 litre French oak barrels + 18 months in the bottle before being released for sale. 

cropped-pennys-tableThis results in an amazing cherry red coloured wine with purplish rims. On the nose it is very intense and presents a mix of ripe fruit jam, black olive and toasted notes. It’s big and robust and yet still retains a perfectly exquisite finish. Optimal enjoyment at 16ºC.

The third wine was Finca Caiz Cerrizel Petit Verdot, 2013 (only 9676 bottles produced), 15.5%, and Peñín gave the 2012 vintage 90 points.  They now perform the Malolactic fermentation in concrete tanks as they strive to produce excellent wines for their Pago.  This is a difficult process as everything has to be perfect – they can’t just go and get a load of grapes from another source if they don’t get it right!                                                                                                                                              cropped-webbs-table-p1000500

The Petite Verdon grape is deep-rooted in Bordeaux which, due to its long ripening, fits perfectly into this winery’s particular climate.  This is our youngest grape but they expect it to have a long and excellent future ahead.

This wine presents an intense cherry red colour with hints of blue.  On the nose, it reveals notes of berry, liquorice and also balsamic notes. On the palate, it’s fresh and smooth but later the concentration of ripe tannins leads to a long and full finish, with graphite, the main mineral characteristic in Petit Verdot, being present all the way through.

It can be kept in the cellar for up to 15-20 years and, to experience all its nuances, is best served between 15º and 16ºC.

cropped-rods-tablep1000503 The fourth wine was their ‘Colección Privada’ (only 3320 bottles produced), 15%, and Peñín gives this vintage 93 points. 

It is their ‘signature’ wine with a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot and Merlot.

A cherry red coloured wine with youthful tones, a complex nose with floral notes, mineral spice, balsamic hints and berries.  On the palate it proves powerful, full-bodied, very tasty and well balanced with a great personality offering a long and complex finish – the aftertaste brings back the fruit and minerals, joined by black chocolate, toffee and toasted nuances.                                                                                                                                     cropped-pauls-table-p1000518

The different varieties are vinified separately, then aged in selected new French oak barrels with the blending being adjusted to reach a perfect balance. This pursuit lasts for 18-20 months and only the best vintages and the best barrels from that vintage are released.  It is best served at 16ºC.

glenns-table-cropped-p1000497The fifth wine was a Finca Caiz Cerrizel Syrah Vendimio Tardie 2005 – a (“little bit sweet”) red wine(only 1840 50cl bottles produced), 14.5%.

It appears that the owner in 2005 asked the wine maker “Can you make me a sweet wine?”.  The answer was “Yes’ and they harvested late (in December) and put it in oak barrels for 12 months.

This wine just stayed in the cellars until Juan José ‘discovered’ it and saw the earning/sales potential.  They plan to make more of this wine but won’t be able to every year as it depends on the autumn/winter temperatures.

A vote of thanks to the bodega and in particular to Juan José for his presentation and to the Restaurant Abiss was given by Hugh Epsom.

Text and Photos by Paul Smithard                                                                                                                                                        Oct 2016