Tasting 15th September 2016 – La Senia – Denia

John Sloggie welcoming members and guests

John Sloggie welcoming members and guests

President John Sloggie welcomed 64 members and guests to “Whose wine is it anyway” presented by members Caryl and Gordon Sellars at Restaurant La Senia in Denia.   Gordon introduced the tasting by announcing that on this occasion the event would be slightly different, in that, instead of guessing the correct wine being introduced they would be asked to identify the grape variety of each of the wines tasted.   As usual members received three presentations from Caryl, Gordon and Mary Anderton for each wine tasted but each for a different grape variety wine, 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. Once the truth was revealed, members scored the wine in the usual way.  All the wines were monovarietals and the table getting the most correct answers would receive a prize.   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 2016, which can be found by clicking on “Wines tasted in 2016”.

The first speaker was Mary who in introducing wine one maintained it was an Albariño, Colleita

The three 'bluffers'; Mary Gordon & Caryl

The three ‘bluffers’; Mary Gordon & Caryl

de Martis 2015 made by Bodegas Santiago Roma, while Caryl on the other hand stated clearly it was Bolo Mountain Wine, a Godello from Bodegas Rafael Palacios in the Valdeorras region of Galicia.   Finally Gordon assured everyone it was a 100% Sauvignon Blanc 2015 from the wine region of Extramadura from Bodegas Habla,   It was however Caryl who presented the correct wine, Bolo Godello 2015, a wine with a honeysuckle and peach nose, which was soft and creamy on the palate and had a core of minerality obtained from the slate which the vines reached with their roots.   

The second wine Caryl assured the members was a Bodegas Angel Rodriguez Martinsancho 2015 Verdejo from Rueda, but Mary begged to differ as it was a Viognier from Dominio de Punctum.   Gordon however insisted it was an old favourite of the Wine Society, a 2015 Enate Chardonnay from DO Somontao and of course that was the correct answer.   Matured for six months in French oak barrels, the wine is a pale yellow colour, clean and bright.   On the nose it displays intensity and true varietal character: green apples, ripe peaches, pineapples, fennel and herbs with a discrete mineral background.   On the palate the wine is large, buttery d tropical as would be expected from an oaked Chardonnay. 

Diners listening to Gordon

Diners listening to Gordon

Gordon kicked off the presentation of the third wine claiming it to be a 2014 Garnacha de Mustiguillo from the stable of Toni Sarrion at his bodega Mustiguillo in Terrerazo, a unique pago of some 87 hectares in Utiel.   Mary said the wine was a superb example of Spain’s current hot grape; Mencia, this particular monovarietal  being made by Veronica Ortega who produces the wines in DO Bierzo.   Caryl provided the third alternative which came from the Bodego Teso la Monja in DO Toro a small region to the north of Ribera del Duero.   This wine made from 100% Tempranillo and called Romanico  Tempranillo 2014 proved to be the correct answer.   Aged for 6 months in French oak barrels it has slight vanilla notes  as well as the distinctive aromas of leather, tobacco and a little cinnamon which point unmistakeably to a tempranillo.   The flavours of this wine are full of fruit especially plum , currant and blackberry.  

Once again Mary presented started the presentation of the fourth wine, this time a Monastrell,  grape  now recognised as a premium monovarietal and this example from Finca Collado “is the wine you are going to taste”.  Caryl disagreed and revealed that the wine was in fact a 100% Merlot, which came from DO Penedes and is the Jean Leon 3055 Merlot 2011.   Why 3055, because it was the number of the cab Jean drove in New York for a while?   Gordon thought both ladies wrong and declared the little known grape Bobal, planted in only one corner of Spain; Utiel was the wine Bobal Casa Don Angel 2012 about to be tasted.   It was Mary’s wine however, called Delit, plaer de Monastrell 2012 from Finca Collado in DOP Alicante which members tasted.   This was made from vines over 50 years old and then matured for 12 months in French oak.    It had an intense cherry colour with an elegant nose of black fruits as well as some coffee and chocolate essences.   In the mouth the dark red fruits asserted themselves in a rounded and sweet tannic experience with a long creamy finish.   

Caryl opened the batting for the fifth and final wine, declaring it to be a 2014 Petit Verdot from Bodegas Enrique Mendoza a bodega which sits right on our doorstep.   Gordon however introduced the wine as a grape variety unfamiliar in the southern regions of Spain a Graciano 2011 from bodega Heretat de Taverners which is right in the heart of DO Valencia.    Mary presented the third choice which was 100% Syrah Pago de los Balagueses 2013 from Bodegas Vegalfaro in the region of Utiel- Requena and this w2as the wine which members tasted.   The grapes are harvested in the early hours of the morning and vineyards and grapes are all processed separately.   Ageing takes place for a minimum of 12 months in French and Central European oak.  The wine is an intense black cherry colour and on the nose there are aromatic hints of fennel and aniseed fused with ripe cherries.   It has well rounded tannins and a good balance finishing with spicy peppery notes.                                                                          

Members scoring their wines

Members scoring their wines

To round off the evening Caryl gave a brief exposé, summarised here, on single grape wines, as had just been tasted and blended wines and which is the better.   The answer to the question really depends on why the blend is made in the first place.   As a generalisation blended wines tend to be a bit softer and smoother than varietal wines.   However if you want to enhance your wine experience tasting single varietal wines on a regular basis will help you more easily recognise the characteristics of different grapes.

Gordon the announced that three tables had tied in the competition getting four of the five grapes correct and in a tie breaking question the winners were table 3 (Sue & Colin Danadio, Penny & Ted Floodgate, Kathy and Andrew Johnson ad Linda ad Kevin Smith) each couple received a bottle of Cava.

President John Sloggie proposed the vote of thanks to Caryl and Gordon for organising the evening and to Mary for her participation.

Text by Gaby Ferenczy based on the script by Caryl Sellars.   Photos by Paul Nicholls.                                                                                                                            September 2016