Notes from an Iberian themed dinner:
With Shisito Peppers with Maldon Salt, Endive and Smoked Salmon Boats, and Moroccan Lamb Balls (garlic, mint, cumin and cinnamon) I served some bubble:
Quinta da Murta Bucelas – this Portuguese sparkling wine is quite good and a modest price. Clean and with considerable character. Recommended. Arinto grape.
Segura Viudas Cava Brut Rosado – another inexpensive pink fizz without any notable shortcomings. Good value.
With Aubergine and Cumin Charlottes with Tomato Coriander Salad
Honorio Rubio Rioja Añadas Edición Limitada – what an interesting wine! Whiff but no more of oxidation and a nose of lime flower and pears. Well balanced and with a tasty acidic end. Made from Viura (Macabeo). Excellent.
2004 Bodegas Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva – an inter course wine while waiting for yours truly to show up with another course. Dark with pale edges, a nose of dill, vanilla and red fruit, sweet on palate with a dry finish.
Served with Quail with Smoked Bacon and Lentil Stew (also made with garlic – I think I went through about four heads with this menu) I rubbed the quail with finely chopped Serrano peppers and lime rind, and dry brined it and air dried it for 24 hours :
2001 Dominio Pingus Ribera del Duero Flor de Pingus – good colour, an almost Rhonish nose with hints of oak, dark fruit and some smokiness, lots of stuffing and good fruit levels. A good Tempranillo that is ready right now.
2001 Hacienda Monasterio Ribera del Duero Reserva – interestingly, Peter Sisseck, founder of Pingus, first came to Monasterio as winemaker in 1995, so both wines were either made by him or by those carrying on his precepts. Mellow nose, warm sweet entry, oak evident in the nose and both currant and blueberry as well as some roasted meat notes. On palate, and good length. Well structured and with good fruit levels. Ready now.
With Paprika Marinated Pork Loin Roast and Green Beans, Tomato and Pearl Onions:
2001 Mas Doix Priorat Salanques – this wine is the Rhone version of Spain – Grenache, Carignan and Syrah and 12 – 14 months in French oak. It is the second wine of Mas Doix and we found it to be in a more international style with a cherry/raspberry/blueberry nose, tannins much softer than they seemed even two or three years ago, and good length.
2001 Mas Doix Priorat Costers de Vinyes Velles – I thought that it would be instructive to taste the first wine together with the second, so brought this out. Dark, and showing some initial sweet cherry aromas, and some cedar, then with tie there were some tarry truffle notes as well as some leather. Very, very good length, and the tannins are tamed by time. First bottle I’ve opened and for me the wine of the night.
With an assortment of mostly blue and Spanish cheeses:
1985 Grahams Port – this also was excellent, still dark with clear edges, sweet walnut and fig in the nose plus a faint hint of allspice, and on palate it seemed less sweet (translation – better balance or acidity?) than many Grahams Ports. Good length and without the heat one often sees. Good show. As someone said, ‘If you don’t like this wine, you just don’t like Port!”
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Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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