My version of the Salón Sibaritas/GPM 2004

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    My version of the Salón Sibaritas/GPM 2004

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    Wednesday. Madrid. Hotel Palace. Sponsored by the Guía Peñín Magazine. BTW this was free with an invitation included in the magazine. Unforgettable event. Glasses were Riedel 416/15, loads of them. Trophy wines such as Termanthia, Pingus, L’Ermita were on a limited-availability basis (read if you had tits, wore a suit+tie, etc). Personally I opted for sampling nice stuff rather than wait around crowded tables to beg for micropours. Nosed Pingus and L’Ermita and my superficial impression was convincing (for a moment I ";Wished I had tits!";).

    I had to rush after class, get on a train, and reach the Palace by 14:00. Event had begun at noon. We left after 19:00 and I lost my last train home... Plenty of friends and even e-friends I had never met before. Quite a laugh.
    These were my ratings. One-liners forthcoming...

    Artadi Viña El Pisón 2001 --> 94++
    Aurus 2000 --> 93++
    Calvario 2001--> 92(+)
    Casa Cisca 2002 -->91-92
    Castaño Colección 2000 -->87
    Viña al lado de la Casa 2001 --> 89+
    Cérvoles 2001--> 89+
    Clos Martinet 2001--> 92-93+
    Clos Mogador 2001--> 94 (+)
    Col. 125 Chivite Chardonnay 2001--> 87
    Col. 125 Chivite Vendimia Tardía 2001--> 92++
    Contino El Olivo 2000--> 91+
    Corullón 2001--> 89
    EMERITVS 2000--> 90
    Enate Chardonnay 2002-->88-89
    Finca Dofí 2001 -->92++
    Finca El Bosque 2001--> 91++
    Gran Veigadares 2001--> 90++
    Grans Muralles 1999--> 91
    Jaime de Codorniu 450 Aniversario NV--> 90
    Laurona 2001--> 86
    Laurona 6 Vinyes 2001-->90-91
    Emilio Moro Malleolus 2001--> 90-91
    Malleolus de Valderramiro 2002-->93++
    Mauro V.S. 2000 -->92-93 (+)
    Milmanda 2001-->89
    Mira 2001-->91-92
    Numanthia 2001--> 90++
    Pago de los Capellanes El Picón 1999--> 93++
    Pazo de Señorans Selección Añada 2000--> 92
    Pazo de Señorans 2003--> 90
    Pintia (Vega Sicilia in Toro) 2001-->92
    Reserva Real (Torres) 1998--> 90
    Señorío de San Vicente 2001--> 91+
    Valbuena 5º Año 1999 --> 92-94
    Vall Llach 2001--> 91 (++)
    Viña Pedrosa Crianza 2001 --> 89+
    Pagos de Viña Real 2001 --> 91
    Viña Sastre Pago de Santa Cruz 1996--> ?
    Viña Sastre Regina Vides 1999--> 93

    en respuesta a Gastronauta

    Re: My version of the Salón Sibaritas/GPM 2004 (Brief notes) (I)

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    Artadi Viña El Pisón 2001
    Incredible elegance. My first Pisón ever, and what a wine! Poured by J.C. López de Lacalle himself. Exquisite by all standards, scoring high in all the categories. Lots of bright red fruit, fine smoky French oak, excellent mouthfeel, visible but unobtrusive tannin, long finish. Needs four years but I wouldn’t be able to sleep having this in my cellar.

    Aurus 2000
    Great surprise. I’ve had all the Calvarios but never tried Aurus before (costs as two Calvarios). Well, it was possibly the darling of the night for me. Soooo elegant, even against its brother, sooo rich too but nowhere near the uncomfortable extremes of ripeness we’re growing used to. This was plain excellent wine showing great texture in the palate, a gorgeous range of aromatics, beautiful velvety integration already… Uh… These top-notch Riojas really make you feel you’re poor!

    Calvario 2001
    As no-one was around we poured fairly liberal glasses of this wine for ourselves. I’m glad I bought a bottle in November, for this is an excellent modern Rioja, with all it takes to charm me for a good couple of hours. Since the event had its own pace we hurried through this glass too, but I made a mental note NOT to share my only bottle. Excellent aromatics of red and black berries, with juicy acidity but right now transmitting a more robust and less brilliantly focused expression than Aurus. Gorgeous palate performance with obvious tannin and excellent finish.

    Casa Cisca 2002
    While not as supple and round as the 2000 this was possibly still on its way to it. The range of aromatics was not yet fully developed and the robust palate spoke of some tannin wanting integration, but this was a most enjoyable monastrell already. Not decanted and certainly an unexpected tip. Great to be at the right place+moment for a change!

    Castaño Colección 2000
    Solid quaffer with good performance at such elitist tasting, and most likely a good table partner. Black fruit profile with already good oak integration. Excellent QPR

    Viña al lado de la Casa 2001
    Superb monastrell bottle for roughly 15€. Must buy. Jammy black fruit and excellent oak management. Sweetish Mediterranean profile without excess. This is a special bottling made by Castaño for Quim Vila, who was also present there.

    Cérvoles 2001

    If you liked the 99 you’ll like this one too. Still underperforming but it obviously needs time (remember the 99 took a couple of years to bloom even though it hinted at greatness from the first day). Priorat profile, at Costers del Segre prices…what else can you ask for?

    Clos Martinet 2001

    I wanted to try this one like mad, and it did not disappoint me the least. Solid jammy stuff but not devoid of grace and focus. Needs time but not as much as the Mogador. I love this producer and still have a second bottle of the 2000 waiting. Will buy the 2001 most likely (at 33€).

    Clos Mogador 2001
    Raw to be sure, but with some decanting it performed much better than at the tasting in Valencia. Gorgeous and true-to-style, all it needs is time+air.

    Colección 125 Chivite Chardonnay 2001
    It’s official: I don’t like Chardonnay.

    Colección 125 Chivite Moscatel VT 2001
    Superb as always. Best Spanish botrytis wine I’ve tried, and amazingly regular every vintage.

    Contino El Olivo 2000
    As with the 1999 and unlike the thoroughly-enjoyable-already 2001, this has an excellent nose of textbook modern Rioja-without-excess, but the palate needs a good deal of polishing before opening another bottle. A great undervalued wine, of which most vintages are still available (you can still find 1996s for under 50€).

    Corullón 2001
    Bierzo indeed, but not worth the 30+ tag. At those prices you get more Bierzo-for-the buck.

    EMERITVS 2000
    The jewel of Dominio de Valdepusa, a cuvee of CS, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Good wine but just that. I don’t see the euros inside this bottle.

    Enate Chardonnay barrel-fermented 2002
    Just pleasant, for about half the price of the other<

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    My version of the Salón Sibaritas/GPM 2004 (Brief notes) (II)

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    Gran Veigadares 2001
    I own a bottle of the 1999 and drank two of the 2000. This is ridiculously priced but pretty interesting. A pity it was not decanted. Very fine expression of Albariño (touched with other varieties, I think, for some years it hits 13,5%) that still needs some bottle. With air it develops an amazing apple nose with hints of laurel and other aromatic herbs. Elegant bitter note in the long finish.

    Grans Muralles 1999
    Though pretty expensive from its release (1996 was the first vintage, I think) this turned out to be a very pleasant Mediterranean red. Excellent warm nose of fleshy red and black berries, nice mineral notes, good weight.

    Jaime de Codorniu 450 Aniversario Brut NV (mágnum)
    I must admit I used this as a palate cleanser. It was good to see Torres bring their entire top range. This was nice, and carefully designed, but that was it.

    Laurona 2001

    Nowhere near memorable, this was comparatively light in body and shy in the nose. A decent wine that surely suffered from the rather unfair competition (but no-one required its presence there, right?).

    Laurona 6 Vinyes 2001
    Frankly good stuff. Warm Mediterranean profile, excellent fruit, mineral notes. And decently priced too.

    Emilio Moro Malleolus 2001
    Best Malleolus ever, if you ask me. Excellent Ribera nose with great fruit and even complexity already. Great palate texture and longish finish. Fairly priced too, at twentyodd.

    Malleolus de Valderramiro 2002
    Just released. This may not be fairly priced, but at least it doesn’t hit three figures (yet?). Well, it is darned great wine, period. I know Marc will raise an eyebrow here, but it’s not everyday you find elegance in Ribera. Maybe the weaker vintage has done Spain a favor. The cork was barely stained, and the wine certainly is in a fruit-forward phase. But I loved it.

    Mauro V.S. 2000
    Another hot-from-the-oven example with rosy-stained cork, possibly not even released yet. This was textbook house-style Vendimia Seleccionada. My current darling is the 1998 (the 2000 is far more elegant/restrained now) but this was soooo goood. Gotta get the 1999 somewhere; can’t imagine what the 2001 will be like!

    Milmanda 2001
    Classic example of top Spanish Chardonnay. Nice but again not a buy for 28€.

    Mira 2001
    Much better than the sample I got at the Verema tasting, this is far more open and expressive. Jammy nose of plums and black berries, warm tarry nose of Mediterranean sunny wine, this deserves another try. Robust indeed, but not clumsy.

    Numanthia 2001
    I recall I liked previous vintages better, but this was an undecanted sample. Obvious quality but again the reference was pretty demanding.

    Pago de los Capellanes El Picón 1999
    I wanted to hate this wine for almost doubling its price vs the excellent 1998. No dice; this was superb. Amazingly good Ribera, and it wasn’t exactly the only representative: there was high competition and this stood out among the very best. Textbook ripe Ribera nose with inky mineral notes gracing the cherry-berry fruit, exquisitely balanced, a wine to imitate.

    Pazo de Señorans Selección de Añada 2000
    All the complexity you need from a tank-aged albariño is here. Mighty developed nose, and still pretty lively to last, it may indeed improve with more bottle. Most foreigners don’t seem to appreciate this style, but I think it adds a great deal to the typical albariño profile. Last weekend I opened a bottle of “Tempo 1999” and it was equally excellent, with even more bottle age.

    Pazo de Señorans 2003
    Very good indeed. That’s what makes the house one if not the most reliable in the region. After we left we went to buy some Donnhoffs and eat some tapas, and we opened a bottle of Terras Gauda 2003 with the meal. What a difference. I usually enjoy Terras Gauda, but at such early time it was all easy-fruit yeast effect whereas the Pazo de Señorans was a serious white wine already.

    Pintia 2001
    This was the big news at last. Vega Sicilia’s first Toro. Formerly

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    My version of the Salón Sibaritas/GPM 2004 (Brief notes) (& III)

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    Torres Reserva Real 1998
    Personally I didn’t see the three figures inside this bottle. Good Bordeaux blend, to be sure, but either it needed another hour of air or there were about two dozen better wines around.

    Señorío de San Vicente 2001
    Excellent modern Rioja. Needs some time to integrate but very promising already. At half the price of the Finca El Bosque this is a buy.

    Valbuena 5º 1999
    Truly excellent Ribera. I had the 1998 last Easter and I think I (very marginally) preferred the 98. Decanting may change my mind, though. This was at least on par with the expectations aroused by house and vintage. Somehow, in the presence of so many other Spanish blockbust€rs, this felt like good QPR at fiftyodd.

    Vall Llach 2001
    Nowhere near disappointing, among other things because no decanting sure is unfair with this monster, but not having previous experience with the house I can only rate what I tasted, and it was seriously good but awfully closed too.

    Viña Pedrosa Cr 2001
    This seemed a lightweight in comparison, but it was easy to see it as another solid vintage for the house. Considering the under 15€ tag it’s a natural buy that performed with dignity in such aristocratic company.

    Pagos de Viña Real 2001
    CVNE goes modern, and pretty good wine it is, in fact. Another brainchild of Chus Madrazo, I guess. No clue about pricing. Both this and Real de Asúa seem to be doing a good job in the modern end of the CVNE portfolio.

    Viña Sastre PSC 1996
    As said, it was not a wine to be tasted after so many 2000-2003 reds.

    Viña Sastre Regina Vides 1999
    I loved the 1998 two years ago with the late Pedro Sastre and I was crazy to sample the 99 (there was Pesus 2001 around too, but I just couldn’t resist the Regina Vides). Excellent Ribera if I’ve ever seen one, maybe more robust than the average sample from other houses, not lacking focus but perhaps not as precise as El Picón (very similar in overall quality, though). Great performance in the palate, and long finish.

    Juan Such
    en respuesta a Gastronauta

    Great TNs...

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    Very interesting TNs, Gastro. Thanks. BTW, you seem to rate lower than Parker (more in line with Tanzer :-)

    I am still looking for my first Pisón. To be fair, I wasn’t very impressed by the Grandes Añadas 98 tasted at the Verema Encounter.

    I like your comment on Clos Mogador 2001: ";Gorgeous and true-to-style, all it needs is time+air."; I tried a ’99 a year ago and I was dissapointed. Closed and impenetrable. BUT... this week I have enjoyed a Solanes 1999 (the second wine from Cims de Porrera) that it was MUCH better than the bottle I drunk 18 months ago. So, yes, these Priorat wines need TIME like hell and a lot of people tend to forget this...

    en respuesta a Juan Such

    Solanes 1999

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    Funny you mention precisely that one. I tried it upon release and just thought ";Poor-man’s-Cims,"; but about 18 months later it was a little beauty all of its own.
    I particularly need a humbling experience like that one from time to time, because for me ";budgets demand prejudice"; but prejudice should of course be regarded at best as a necessary evil...

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