TN: Wine Academy of Spain - Almost 80 wines

Last week I attended a three day seminar sponsored by Wine Academy of Spain. The seminar was an overview of the entire country and went into probably more depth than three days should have allowed. It required studying at night and a 100 question exam with 8 blind wines was given at the conclusion (results to follow in a couple months). They are touring the country with the seminar, having just been in Houston and next week in DC. The seminar was excellent. While I consider myself reasonably well versed in Spanish wines, I am considerably more so today. The “faculty” were Jesus Bernard, from Spain, and David Denton, a Washington DC Sommelier. Both were quite knowledgeable and good. There was also a video appearance (Skype), by Pancho Campo from Spain who had some really interesting observations including global warming. These notes represent my opinions and not necessarily any one else’s.

The following wines were served non-blind as part of the curriculum over three days. It was a lot of wine!

Day 1:

2006 Magana Calchetas (Navarra)
14.5%. Blend of varietals, 20 mos in American Oak. Inky purple, ruby at the rim but a bit dull. A nose of tobacco, black raspberries and smoke. Drying tannins. Slight fruit on the palate, and slightly tart. I found it out of balance with some heat. 50+3+11+16+5=85

2005 Vinas del Vero Gran Vos Reserva (Somontano)
14% Alc. Cab/Merlot, 18 months in French Oak. Cherry red in color, mostly clear and bright. The nose is smoky with green tobacco. Also some dust and cassis. On the palate, there is nice acid leading to a juicy texture. Soft tannins. Easy to drink. Nice. 50+4+12+17+6=89

2004 Baron de Magana Navarra
14% Alc. 14 mos in French Oak. 40% Merlot, 40% Cab, 20% Tempranillo. Inky purple. A nose of plums, black pepper. This is softer on the palate. Cherries and plums. Complex with firm tannins. 50+3+12+16+6=87

2005 Secastilla Somontano
14.5% 15 months in French oak. Garnacha. Ruby/purple in color. The nose has some heat, also some strawberries, cherries and rosemary On the palate, cherries with light tannins. Some heat. Sweet fruit finish. 50+4+12+17+6=89

2006 Alto Moncayo Campo de Borja
100% Garnacha. 16% Alc. Ruby/purple in color. The nose is smoky with spice and lots of strawberries and raspberries. Great texture. Cherries and raspberries on the palate. Soft tannins. Some cinnamon on the sweet finish. This is sweet and balanced and like prior vintages, a great wine. 50+4+13+18+8=93

2006 El Nido El Nido Jumilla
15.5%. 70% Cabernet, 30% Monastrell. I was surprised to see such an expensive wine on the list. Inky purple in color, opaque and bright. The nose shows the 30 months in French oak, also some cassis. Tons of sweet fruit on the palate; black raspberries and plums. Also tons of oak. Searing heat and tannins. Many raved about this wine, but it was too much oak and too over the top for me. Does age help? That is the $150 question. 50+4+12+16+5=87

2008 Vionta Albarino Rias Baixis
12% Alc. Gold/green in color. The nose has limes, minerals, powdered sugar, pears and sulfur. High acidity which I liked. Clean. Tart limes and pears on the palate. Long finish. 50+3+12+17+6=88

2007 Laxas Albarino Rias Baixas
Light yellow gold in color. A nose with lemons and white flowers. Rounder in the mouth. Apples and minerals on the palate. Long finish. 50+3+12+17+7=89

2006 Fillaboa Albarino Rias Baixas
Golden in color, clear and bright. The nose is slightly oxidized. Soft texture. Some lemons. An off bottle or just too old. NR.

2008 Analiva Rueda Pagos del Roy
13% Alc. Supposedly 100% Verdejo, but we did not believe it. Straw green in color. A nose of lemons and cat pee with some papaya. Oily texture. Lemons and white flowers on the palate. Balanced with nice acidity. Long, slightly bitter finish. Sure seemed like Sauvignon Blanc. But nice. 50+4+13+16+6=89

2008 Shaya Verdejo Old Vines Rueda
13.5% Alc. Silvery in color with some white gold. The nose has beeswax and chalk. Oily texture. Nice acidity. Grapefruit on the palate turning bitter on the finish. Very good wine. Jorge Ordonez. 50+3+12+18+7=90

2006 Tercer Motivo Bierzo Tinto roble
Mencia. 13.5% 8 mos in oak. Inky purple in color. The nose shows plenty of oak, chocolate, black raspberries, violets and camphor. Soft in texture. Light tannins. Raspberries and dark cherries on the palate. Some heat on the finish. 50+4+12+16+6=88

2006 Motivo Segundo Roble Tinto de Toro Toro
13.5% Alc. 4 months in oak Purple/ruby in color, garnet at the rim. Dark cherries and mushrooms on the nose. Full bodied. Round in the mouth. Warm with dark cherries. Some heat. A peppery finish. 50+3+12+17+6=88

2005 Condado de Oriza Crianza Ribera del Duero
13.5% Alc. Tinto Fino. 18 months in oak. Dark ruby/purple in color, ruby at the rim. A nose of cherries, root beer, dust, paprika and raspberries. Soft texture. Cherries with slight dill on the palate. Tannins and balanced acidity. Shorter finish. 50+3+12+16+6=87

2005 Legaris Crianza Ribera del Duero
100% Tinto Fino. 14.5% Alc. Purple/ruby in color, magenta at the rim. Raspberries, cherries, vanilla, leather and dill on the nose. Complex. Raspberries and cherries on the palate. Some cough syrup heat at the finish. A pretty nice wine though. 50+4+13+16+6=89

2003 Valdubon Crianza Ribera del Duero
13.5% Alc. 12 months in American oak. Dark purple in color, shimmering bright. The nose has dark cherries, vanilla, raisins and dill. Stewed cherries and raisins on the palate. Medium tannins. A product of the vintage? Not bad, but a but hot. 50+4+12+15+5=86

2004 Honoris de Valdubun Ribera del Duero
14% Alc. Purple in color, ruby at the rim. The nose has oak, vanilla, black raspberries and alcohol. Nice texture on the palate. Harsh tannins. This is complex but with a lot of oak. Does it integrate with time? Lots of good potential here though. 50+5+12+17+7=91

2002 Valdubon Reserva Ribera del Duero
Bottle # 19238 Ruby in color with slight browning. The nose has barnyard, leather, oak, and dried meats. Soft texture. Dried cherries and spice on the palate. Nice acidity. Nice spicy finish. I thought this might be past prime from a weaker vintage (and maybe it was), but it was still nice. 50+3+12+17+7=89

2006 Neo Ribera del Duero
Cherry in color, ruby at the rim. The nose has black cherries, oak, cocoa, and cedar. Full bodied. Sweet fruit. Tannic. This wine is very concentrated with black cherries and cedar. Made from Tinto Fina. Very modern and in desperate need of a few years in a cellar. Seems to have all the pieces parts if the oak integrates a bit. 50+4+13+18+8=93

Day 2:

Juve & Camps Brut Rose Pinot Noir Cava
12% Alc. 8gs of sugar. 20 months. Salmon pink in color. A nose of strawberries. Reasonably dry. Creamy texture. Nice and fruity if simple. 50+3+12+16+6=87

Freixenet Cordon Rosado Brut Cava
12% Alc. 12 months ageing. 6 grams of sugar. Lots of bubbles. Salmon/copper in color. The nose has vinyl and light cherries. Crisp. Sweet finish. Not much fruit. I liked the more austere style. Although the nose was off putting. 50+4+11+17+7=89

Coradorniv Brut Pinot Noir Cava
12% Alc. 13 months age. 7.5 grams of sugar. Salmon in color. Smaller bubbles. The nose is Faygo® Red Pop. Lighter in body. Silky texture. Strawberries on the palate. Long finish with nice acidity. 50+3+12+17+7=89

Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava
12% alc. 7g of sugar. 10 to 12 months. Pale green/straw in color. Big bubbles. Quiet nose with some apples and toast. Foamy. Apples and lemons on the palate. Clean finish with some acidity. 50+3+11+14+5=83

Cordoniv Original Cava
Straw in color with slight green hues. Medium bubbles. Lemony with pears and slight yeast notes. Full bodied. Lemons and ginger on the palate. Nice balance. Clean finish. 50+3+12+17+7=89

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava
11.5% Alc. 15 months ageing. Straw color, slightly white gold. The nose is smoky with herbal and fennel notes. Creamy texture. Complex with great acidity. Lemons and apples on the palate. Long finish. 50+3+12+18+8=91

Segura Viudas Aria Brut Nature Cava
11.5% Alc. 20 months. Light straw green in color. Slightly yeasty with lemons and floral notes. Small bubbles. Creamy texture. Complex on the palate with green apple and toast. Nice acidic finish with some smoke. Very nice. 50+3+12+18+7=90

Cordoniv Reserva Raventos Brut Nature Cava
11.5% Alc. Yellow gold in color. Buttered toast, balsamic vinegar and curry powder on the nose. Small bubbles. Foamy. Apples on the palate. Full bodied. Slightly bitter finish. 50+3+11+16+5=85

Juve & Camps Brut Nature Gran Reserva Cava
Bottle 75,243. 12% Alc. 40 months. Yellow green in color. Small bubbles. Vanilla, toast and apples on the nose. Complex. Creamy. Long dry finish. Red apples. 50+3+12+17+7=89

2008 Raimat Albarino Vina 24 Costre del Segre
12% Alc. Silvery/green/gold in color. The nose is quiet with crushed shells, slight lemons, mango and banana. Light bodied. Slightly sweet. On the palate, more bananas. Simple with a tart finish. 50+3+10+15+5-83

2007 Raimat Chardonnay Vina 27 Costre del Segre
13.5% Alc. Deep golden in color. The nose has plastic, lemons and canned peas. Thin. Out of balance. Tart. Barely drinkable. 50+3+10+6+4=73

2005 Cren de Lavit Segura Viudas Xarel-lo Costre del Segre
12.5% Alc. Straw gold in color. Red berries on the nose. Nice texture, slightly oily. Smooth. Apples and apricots on the palate. If this is not too much, it would make a great porch wine. 50+3+11+17+6=87

2003 Segura Viudas Mas D’Aranyo Tempranillo Reserva Penedes
25% Cab as well. 13.5% Alc. Ruby/black/purple in color. Clear rim. The nose is duty with black cherries. Sweet black cherry fruit on the palate, with some plums. Drying tannins. Nice finish though. 50+3+11+16+7=87

2004 Raimat Tempranillo Vina 43 Costre del Segre
13.5% Alc. Ruby/black in color with some purple hues. Dark cherries, dill and cinnamon. Sweet fruit; cherries and dark cherries. Light tannins. A little heat. 50+3+11+16+6=86

2003 Fra Guerau Montsant
7 grape blend. 13% Alc. Ruby in color, garnet rim. The nose has berries, smoke, balsamic, and dill. Light tannins. Cassis, cherries on a complex palate. Sweet finish. 50+3+12+17+7=89

2007 Cellars Can Blau Montsant
14% Alc. Mazuelo (Carinena), 40%, Syrah 40%, Garnacha 20%. Inky purple in color, violet at the rim. The nose is dusty with black raspberries, oak and leather. Full bodied and young. The palate has black raspberries, minerals and kirsch. Medium tannins. Should improve and a great QPR. 50+4+13+17+7=91

2004 Scala Deo Priorat
15% Alc. 50% Grtenach, 27% Cabernet, 23% Syrah. Inky purple in color, slight ruby at the rim. The nose has black cherries, coffee, rosemary and camphor. Sweet fruit. On the palate, black cherries, black raspberries and minerals. Medium tannins. Long finish. Slight heat. 50+4+12+17+6=89

2001 Morlanda Crianza Priorat
14% Alc. Brown/red in color with some bricking. 50% Garnacha, 50% Carinena. Some oxidation with caramel and cherry notes on the nose. On the palate, this is still vibrant. Cherries, balsamic and complex. Integrated tannins. A pretty wine, probably just past prime. 50+2+12+16+6=86

2005 Vall LLach Embruix Priorat
15.5% Alc. Inky purple in color, cherry rim. The nose is dusty with cassis and black cherries and oak. Creamy texture. Lots of tannins. Black raspberry, cassis and oak on a palate to match. Some heat. Black licorice and minerals come out with some air and especially on the finish. A modern wine but nice and not way over the top. Needs a couple of years more to settle. 50+4+13+18+7=92

2008 Altozano VdlT Castilla
Verdejo 70%, Sauv. Blanc. 30% 12% Alc. Light silvery green/gold. Grapefruit, grassy and lemon nose. Oily texture. Nice acidity at the finish. White grapefruit and honeysuckle on the palate. 50+3+12+15+5=85

2006 Altozano VdlT Castilla
65% Tempranillo, 25% Cabernet. 14% Alc. Cherry in color, clear and bright. The nose has candied cherries and dust. Thin. Slightly bitter on the palate. Easy to drink with soft light tannins. Missing. 50+3+11+12+4=80

2005 Tapena Garnacha VdlT Castilla
13.5% Alc. Cherry in color, garnet at the rim. The nose has strawberries and violets. Soft texture. Strawberries and cherries on the palate. Easy to drink if innocuous. 50+3+11+14+4=82

2008 Vina Albali Tempranillo Felix Solis Valdepneas
Ruby in color, magenta rim. The nose is dusty with cherries and fruit. Light bodied. Soft tannins. Cherries on the palate with a tart finish. 50+3+11+15+5=84

2002 Vina Albai Gran Reserva Valdepenas
13% Alc. Cherry center, garnet rim in color. The nose has dust, tobacco, cherries, colves and cinnamon. Medium bodied. On the palate, cherries and soft tannins. Complex. 50+3+11+16+6=86

2007 Volver La Mancha
100% Tempranillo. 14.5% Alc. Inky purple in color, violet at the rim. The nose has cherries, smoke, dried cherries. Tannic. A modicum of oak. Black raspberries on the palate. Slightly astringent on the finish. 50+4+12+16+6=88

2008 El Circulo Rioja
13% Alc. Cherry in color, garnet at the rim. Dusty cherries and raspberry jam. On the palate, cherries, slight licorice. No tannins. Easy to drink. Simple. 50+3+11+16+4=24

2006 Vaza Rioja Tempranillo Rioja
10% Garnacha. 13% Alc. Light garnet in color. Dusty cherries and a slight bit of oxidation on the nose. Light bodied. Sweet fruit on the palate. Cherries and anise. Medium tannins. Anise on the finish. Nice. 50+2+12+17+6=87

2006 Beronia Rioja Crianza Rioja
13.5% Alc. Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Mazuelo grapes. Cherry red in color. The nose is earthy with cherries, vanilla and violets. Nice juicy texture. Firm tannins. Cherries with a slight menthol note. Also some strawberries. Slightly acidic on the finish. 50+4+13+16+6=89

2006 El Circulo Crianza Rioja
13.5% Alc. Dark cherries in color. The nose has cherries vanilla, cedar and dill. Full bodied. On the palate there are firm tannins. Cherries and dark cherries with an anise note on the finish. 50+3+12+16+6=87

2006 Vina Zaco Rioja
14% Alc. 100% Tempranillo. Dark cherry in color, garnet at the rim. 12 months in American oak. The nose is reticent with dusty cherries leather vanilla and mint. Light tannins. On the palate, dark cherries, minty finish. Slightly astringent. 50+4+12+16+6=88

2004 Vaza Crianza Rioja
14 months in French and America oak. 100% Tempranillo. Dark cherry in color. The nose has cherries, vanilla and violets. Nice round texture. Dark cherries on the palate. Softer and mature. Nice acidity. 50+3+11+16+5=85

2004 Remirez de Ganuza Old Vines Rioja
14% Alc. Inky purple in color, ruby at the rim. The nose has coffee, cedar, black cherries and crème de cassis. Huge wine and quite complex. Dark cherries with black raspberries. Tannic but great balance. Needs some time to come together. 50+5+13+18+8=94

2003 La Vilalanda LV Reserva Rioja
13.5% Alc. Dark cherry in color. The nose is dusty leather with cherries and violets. Nice texture. Cherries and ripe black raspberries on the palate. Tannis. A long, slightly drying finish. Nothing “03” about this wine. Very nice. 50+4+12+17+7=90

Dinastia Vivanco
We were shown a presentation by this bulk producer in Rioja. They have established one of the premier wine museums in the world. They are also producing quality table wines. The wines come in an interesting bottle which I believe is a replica of a late 1800’s hand blown glass bottle.

2008 Dinastia Vivanco Vivanco Rioja
Viura and Malvasia. 12.5% Alc. Straw/green in color. Aromatic nose of white flowers and white grape fruits. Some lychees also. Tart on the palate. Some lychees, refreshing acidity. A nice simple wine. 50+3+12+15+6=86

2005 Dinastia Vivanco Crianza Rioja
13.5% Alc. 100% Tempranillo
Med cherry red in color, garnet at therim. The nose has cherries, vanilla and dill. Med tannins. Cherry on the palate with some cola at the finish. Nice wine. 50+4+12+17+6=89

2004 Dinastia Vivanco Reserva Rioja
90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano. Darker cherry red in color, mostly opaque. The nose has cherries and violets. Strong acidity. Cherries and black raspberries. Long finish that turns astringent. Needs time to see how the oak integrates. Could get better. 50+4+12+17+6=89

2005 Dinastia Vivanco Collecion Vivanco Rioja
A blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha, and Mazuelo. Inky purple in color, ruby at the rim. Earthy with black raspberries on the nose. Soft texture. Firm tannins. Dark cherries and black raspberries on the palate. Some heat on the finish. 50+4+13+17+7=91

1981 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Rioja
Red/brown in color, clear and bright. The nose has dried cherries, cherries, sweet molasses, raspberries, and strawberries. Clean on the palate with cherries and orange peel. Nice acidity. Great balance, long finish. Not for everyone but I loved this wine. 50+4+13+18+8=93

Day 3:

I don’t drink a lot of sherry, so my notes include just a score as I am not sure exactly how to break it down. I know many people rave about these being the best wine values in the world. I did like some of them, but I need to experiment more.

Gonzales Byass Tio Pepe Fino Muy Seco Palomino Sherry
5 year solera. 15.5% Clear with a slight yellow. Fruit (plums?) and almonds on the nose. Lively in the mouth. A fruity palate with some alcohol and saline notes. Soft and bitter on the finish. 87

Gonzales Byass Vina AB Amontillado Seco
10 years of ageing. 16.5% Dark golden in color, clear and bright. The nose has golden raisins and almonds. Bitter almonds and alcohol on the palate. Long finish with a lot of fumes. 78

Alfonso Olorosso Seco
10 years ageing. Orange/amber in color, clear and bright. The nose has candied oranges and burnt sugar. Smooth texture, soft. Oranges and nuts on the palate. Drying finish. 85

Gonzales Byass Solera 1847 Olorosso Dulce
75% Palomino, 25% Pedro Ximinez. 7 years ageing. Maple syrup in color, clear and bright. The nose has dates and raisins. Nice. Nice acidity. Caramel, nuts, raisins and prunes on the palate. Soft. Nutty finish. I liked this a lot. 92

Gonzales Byass Palo Cortado VORS
Dark amber in color. Orange rinds and nutty nose. The palate has dried orange rinds, saline and burnt sugar. The finish goes from sweet to dry. Interesting. 90

Gonzales Byass Matusalem Olorosso Dulce VORS
Dark amber with a green tinge. The nose is chocolate covered orange rind and hazelnuts. Sweet. Coffee turning to dried apricots on the palate. Slight heat. Slight cloying. 89

Gonzales Byass Necrtar Pedro Ximinez Dulce
Dark brown in color, lighter at the rim. Looks like maple syrup. The nose is odd with canned tomatoes, slight coffee and molasses. With air, the nose improves a bit. The palate is very good with coffee and molasses notes. Soft texture. Sugary raisin finish. 90

2008 Botani Moscatel Seco Sierra de Malaga
40% Barrel fermented. Pale silvery color. The nose is nice with oranges and white flowers. Delicate. Slightly oily texture. The palate is mostly dry with oranges. Nice acidity. Better on the nose though. 50+2+13+16+6=87

We tasted thru a lineup of Veleta wines as an example of the good new things wineries are doing in southern Spain with table wines. Disclaimer-I consider the owners to be friends of mine, but I hope that does not affect my notes.

2007 Veleta Vijiriega VdlT Contraviesa-Alpujara
Yellow golden in color. The nose is very toasty with some mango. Slight lemons. Long finish. I have had this before and this was a poor showing IMO. I have not noticed so much oak on this wine before. Not sure why. In the past, I have thought of it like a Muscadet. 50+3+10+15+5=83

2007 Veleta Chardonnay VdlT Contraviesa-Alpujara
deep golden in color. The nose has vanilla and oak. Too ripe and too much oak. For my tastes, this has always been the weak link in their lineup. That said, the Cal Chard lovers found this light and spry and easy to drink. 50+3+10+14+3=80

2008 Veleta Tempranillo Rose VdlT Contraviesa-Alpujara
I had not had this yet, but loved the 2007. This was almost as good and a real room pleaser. Pale cherry in color. The nose has watermelon, strawberry, and cranberry. Refreshing with a nice acidity. Cherries on a very slick clean palate. 50+3+12+18+7=91

2006 Veleta Tempranillo VdlT Contraviesa-Alpujara
Purple in color. Sweet fruit on the nose, cherries leather, dust. On the palate, this is soft with medium tannins. Ripe plums and dark cherries. Nice finish. 50+3+12+17+7=89

2006 Veleta Cabernet Sauvignon VdlT Contraviesa-Alpujara
Dark ruby in color, garnet at the rim. The nose has cassis and white pepper. Lots of fruit. On the palate, this has sweet cassis. Firm tannins. Easy to drink. 50+3+12+18+7=90

2006 Veleta Nolados VdlT Contraviesa-Alpujara
40% Cabernet, 40% Cab Franc, 20% Tempranillo
Purple/ruby in color. The nose has cherries, black raspberries, vanilla and Nutmeg. Silky texture. Easy to drink with some complexity. Cherries and raspberries. Medium tannins. 50+4+12+18+7=91

2005 Moncloa Cabernet /Syrah VdlT Contraviesa-Alpujara
A 70/30 blend. Bottle #39,258/48,600. Ruby/purple in color. The nose has cocoa and ripe cherries. Medium bodied. A bit jammy on the palate but not in a bad way. Cherry and black raspberries. Nice finish. 50+4+12+17+7=91

Toro Albala Fino Electrico Montilla-Moriles
Yellow in color. Paint thinner on the nose and palate. Everything I don’t like in a Fino (sherry). I just don’t get this style of wine. NR

Fino Gran Barquero Montilla-Moriles
Pale yellow gold in color. Almonds and yeast on the nose. Dough on the palate. This is ok and drinkable. Dry. 80

Toro Albala Cream PX
Not sure about the Cream designation as it is not a blend. Amber in color. The nose has raisins, apricots and is slightly nutty. Viscous. On the palate, raisin cake with sugary frosting. Grand Marnier too. Nice. Sweet. 91

2006 Jorge Ordonez #1 Malaga
Golden in color. Made with sundried Moscatel. Great nose of orange blossoms and honey. Nice acidity. Balance is impeccable. Honey and apricots on the palate. Velvety long finish. Truly a great wine. 50+4+14+18+8=94

A lot of wines to drink, spit and understand. A great experience that, if you can, is worth the time!


Great notes

I am attending the NY one in October. I am frightened by the exam. I got into this business to avoid more tests!

Loren, which city did you take yours in? It was a great class! Took mine in San Diego last week. I think we tasted almost all the same wines. My favorite courses were of the Cavas and Sherry. A great experience.


Thanks for the extensive notes.

Were the wines served in the order you listed them?

For me it is very hard to drink Rioja’s after a session of Priorat’s.

Thanks in advance,

Christ man…thats some liver!
Count me in the “love el nido camp”
Would you say overall there was not much to get excited about?
BTW, interesting math
2008 El Circulo Rioja
13% Alc. Cherry in color, garnet at the rim. Dusty cherries and raspberry jam. On the palate, cherries, slight licorice. No tannins. Easy to drink. Simple. 50+3+11+16+4=24

I did the course two years ago in Monterey. It was the first offering of the course in the world as part of the Society of Wine Educators Conference. I brought my notes for the regions I had perpared while studying for the WSET Diploma, most of the material was the same as my notes which was way cool so I could listen instead of taking notes. The exam was supposed to start off with theory followed after a break by the tasting. So I figured I would study my tasting notes, which I took in great detail, during the break.

When we got to the room they announced that the tasting was going to be first so the Cavas would not lose their sparkle. Some in the room were freakning out saying, you can’t do this. Ended up with a 90 on the theory and only a 70 on the blind tasting so was a bit bummed. they were offering a trip to spain for the top 10 Students from all of the exams taken that year in North America.

Pancho was there with Javier Arauz, Javier has since left to start a Spainsh wine selections company called New Spain wines

After the exam 16 of us took Javier and Pancho to Passion Fish and had a blast spending 2-3 time more on wine than food.

Javier is now doing a Sherry wine edcuators course travelling through North America with his wife Wendy Vallaster. They did a short course at this years SWE confernece, about 4 hours short.

Are they still offering the trip to Spain?

Veronica, this was taught in Cleveland.

Jose, yes this is pretty much the order. I did get some palate fatigue at times.

Mark, yes, the top 15 in the country get a trip to Spain.

Top 15?

Well, make it the other 14, cause I am getting one of those trips.

Jay Miller might have taken a spot as well…make it 13! [rofl.gif]

Can you imagine a bus trip across Spain sitting between Jay Miller and Posner? Now, that would be worth the airfare!

I travelled with Jorge Ordonez for 11 days like that.

He was ready to strangle me after day two.

We got along very well. I was just one of the few people that actually asked a lot of questions.

Jorge does not like to give out too much info on his wines.

You’re not who Sarah calls Question Man, are you?

Sara calls me intoxication man, as nicknamed from Jorge.

Here is the itinerary for the trip. I am possibly going to the Wine Future Rioja maybe I’ll see you and Loren there Dan!

BTW I do have a special code for anyone interested in attending the NY class to get their discount I mentioned before.

THANK YOU Nola! Really enjoyed your wines [dance-clap.gif]