I conducted my first big Spanish wine tasting this past winter and wanted to share my notes about it….
The tasting was conducted at the Spanish Tapas restaurant Tamarillo in Kaiserslautern. The quality and uniqueness of my wines in combination with the great food and ambience of the restaurant made the perfect setting to create a most wonderful wine tasting event. The feedback I received from the group rated it 4.5 on a scale of 5 stars, a 4.5 and it was so great having this event turn out so well and I had the opportunity to meet such fantastic people!
25 guests attended this event, and we started the social and introduction portion at 7:00 p.m. with Cava Conde de Caralt and hors d’oeuvres that were just fantastic! There I had an opportunity to meet the other guests, and actually ran across some old colleagues, which was a pleasant surprise.
We took our seats at 7:30 p.m. and I began the tasting with the 2008 Bodegas OSSIAN WhiteVerdejo accompanied with steamed salmon. Most had never tried white Spanish wine before and they found the body to be very good, although a bit racy, but overall the wine was very fruity and pleasant. The smoked salmon was the perfect partner with this wine and enhanced each other harmoniously.
Dates wrapped in bacon with a port sauce and liver was served next and the accompanying wine was an excellent Ismael Gozalo SIETEJUNTOS 2007 (inaugural vintage) which is a wine blended of 75% Tinto Fino and 25% Syrah aged 12 months in oak barrels. The group really enjoyed this one. They found it spicy and cool with elegant and dense attributes, perfectly balanced being both cool and fresh. Later, I explained that the entire production was just over 1000 bottles. The second one served with this course was the 2007 Bodegas Maurodos PRIMA which is 90% Tinta de Toro and 10% Granache aged 12 months in both French and American oaks. This one was an easy one to drink with smooth tannins and a very subtle aging in the oak. This wine was also very fruity, extremely floral and agile on the palate.
The third course was my personal favorite. Tapas and Quail accompanied by baked zucchini and goat cheese served with 2 fantastic reds, the 2006 Bodegas MAURO annd the 2006 Bodegas AALTO. The Bodegas MAURO is 90% Tempranillo and 10% Syrah giving it an intense aroma, with clear traces of red fruit (mostly raspberries and strawberries) with marked floral tones. This was my friend Jay’s personal favorite, the 2006 Bodegas AALTO is 100% Tempranillo from vine stock 30 to 90 years old. All harvesting is done by hand in small 15 kg containers, and is aged in French oak for 23 months. The first stage is in brand-new barrels and later in 2 year old barrels. This wine has a distinct character with perfect roundness and velvety tannins and good acidity. We enjoyed it because of the full aromas, overall balance and complexity. If you like red wine, I seriously recommend that you sample this wine.
Lastly, the Bodegas Mauro 2003 VENDIMIA SELECCIONADA, a 100% Tempranillo (wine region Tudela de Duero), was served with several varieties of Spanish cheese. After being aged 33 months in French and American oaks, it was bottled in March 2007. This is an elegant wine, and a pleasant bouquet on the nose and offering a fresh fruitiness coinciding with delicate aging notes. It was teasing on the palate and possessed intense tannins, very rounded with a great finish. 2003 was an exceptional year for this region of Spain, and it shows!
To summarize, the participants thoroughly enjoyed this wine tasting and learned very much about Spanish viticulture and I enjoyed telling the story that went behind each wine, and it made us all appreciate it all even more!