Verema tours La Mancha

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    Verema tours La Mancha

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    As you may know by now some usual suspects honored us with their company this weekend. Anecdotes, sordid pics and subsequent blackmail will be spared. These are some of the non-manchean wines:

    Varietal assortment of 1999 Zind-Humbrechts:

    Muscat Goldert: Dead on arrival. Faint muscat nose upon pouring, then nothing, eventually avecrem.

    Gewürz Hengst: Of this I DID expect much more. Closed, musky, not unlike the muscat, very high alcohol (15%) and absent acidity =flat on the palate. Disappointing to say the least. This initial couple was of unknown provenance and by the time it reached Packet’s home it might have suffered ill-storage.

    TPG Rotenberg VV: White of the night for most. DD at home. Pleasant intensity, distinctively varietal with orcherd fruit and confectionery nose. Good depth and persistence. Dry enough for my expectations.

    Riesling Clos St. Urbain: Even in a minor vintage this was singing. DD at home. Nice, delicately petrolly nose already, with pleasant fruit and moderately unctuous texture. Pretty longish in the end.

    Assorted selection

    Mas d’en Compte Blanc 2001
    Excellent nose of white fruit and flowers, with interesting texture (oily, but not overdone, rather bright acidity) and overall pleasant impression. My sample was cooler than most others’. Long live patience ;^)

    Dashwood Sauvignon 2002
    Excellent performance on Sunny Sunday noon, lunch under the trees, spicy rice/shellfish recipe...
    Textbook NZ style, with bright acidity of non-obviously-citrusy origin (which I appreciate a good deal). Exotic but restrained, with some persistence.

    Mistela Molt Vella del Masroig
    Call this heressy, but I can’t get myself to enjoy this Verema favorite as much as the vast majority here. But then, that absurdly beautiful starry sky in the middle of nowhere, not a cloud to be seen, sitting by the verandah, sipping this... mmmm...

    PX Emilio Hidalgo
    Again, DD at home. Ditto for the starry sky, only I love this PX for its QPR. A tad too cold in the open air at 2: am...

    Ribera 1999 with Saturday meal

    Aalto 1999
    The least focused of the three, showing blurry fruit and cocoa notes all over but needing some delineation at the moment.

    Alión 1999
    I was delighted to try this, which I had not since the 1996 vintage.
    Possibly the best food match (especially for the fish-eater), drinking great at the moment. Polished enough, with excellent developed nose, good typicity.

    Valbuena 5º Año 1999
    Best wine though not exactly performing at its best. Travel shock and want of more aeration showed a shier than usual Valbuena. We know it to be superb from the Peñín tasting, but here it merely overtook the Alión at the end of the meal.

    en respuesta a Gastronauta

    Re: Verema tours La Mancha (II)

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    Here are the local boys:

    Magnum of La Plazuela 2001
    Impressive color and nose, with abundance of red and black berries, mineral, and turf. Spice and a hint of bitterness at the end add some elegance already. Great with the food.

    Agios 2002
    This is NOT C-S and Garnacha but 80% Tempranilo and 20% Garnacha. I could swear. Still a bit of a beast, but developing nicely in bottle. I still have two for post-summer verification. One should see Xmas. Rawish but in the process of rounding up. Excellent example of the new Mancha...and not even 14,5% alcohol... ;^)

    Pago Florentino 2002
    Arzuaga’s experiment in Malagón (roughly 30 km from Ciudad Real) may eventually outperform its Ribera brother). By far my best red from this area, second only to the (comparatively expensive and by now impossible to find) La Plazuela. Excellent Tempranillo expression, with mineral notes to add complexity. Not overdone in spite of its 14,5% alcohol. Only 8 months in oak, I believe, beautifully integrated already.

    ARRAYÁN collection:

    Nothing to stir a bit of polemy than this house. Highly ";Peñinated"; in the past edition of his guide, these are good examples of young-vine projects from the Toledo area. A pity that they’re released at 20-30€...
    Our local gang tasted this selection at home in December, I think, and the result was roughly better. In this ocassion the Petit Verdot showed excellent oak, period. The Syrah was interestingly varietal, but I’d say clearly behind the Vallegarcía 2001. The Merlot gave off a hideous stink for some 8 hours before it opened to reveal a beautiful example of manchegan Merlot. We decanted it and left it out in the cold night for a good few hours, then repoured it into the bottle before going to bed. It worked. The smell whiffed off and we enjoyed the wine for Sunday lunch under the trees. Not bad at all.
    The Selección (or Premium, or whatever) was in a very creamy/lactic state and wanted another year, but I seem to have more confidence about its potential than the other tasters that night.
    Vallegarcía, as I said above, performed pretty well, though by the time the nose fully opened the bottle was empty...

    Finally, two bottles of Talva 2003 (Airén 40%, Macabeo 30%, Sauvignon blanc 25%, Chardonnay 5%) -white Agios- were consumed, mostly by the yeast-loving ladies during Friday dinner. Unremarkable stuff to say the least.

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    Re: Verema tours La Mancha

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    Finally, a couple of typical countryside experiences turned out to be simply great:

    - the already mentioned stargazing with PX

    - Riesling and Sauvignon under the trees for Sunday lunch (Dr. L 2003 and Bernkasteler Lay Kabinett 2002)

    - Laurent-Perrier Rosé and sunset by the verandah on Saturday was just plain wonderful. The wine showed superior vinosity --unlike some very skeletal examples I’ve had in the past-- excellent light bubbles in the background...and the cool evening and outrageously funny company did the rest. I can’t believe we had dinner after that, just 4 hours after such monstrous lunch... 8^0

    Three cars, over 30 Riedel stems, 3 or 4 decanters, 25+ bottles of wine, 8 winos. I call this perfect balance! Thanks for the weekend, guys...

    Juan Such
    en respuesta a Gastronauta

    Valbuena 1999

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    Yesterday we were lucky enough to drink a good assortment of wines from Vega Sicilia presented by Xavier Ausás in Valencia.

    The Valbuena 1999 had been decanted two hours in advance and it was much more expressive than last Saturday in Ciudad Real. A really great wine. And BTW, the Valbuena 2000 which is coming the next year is superb. We`ll talk about this wonderful tasting-dinner soon...

    Regarding the last week in Ciudal Real, just to say it was GREAT: great people, great fun, great landscape and good/great wines. I agree with most of the TNs you describe. I have written my impressions (in Spanish) in:

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