##IN THIS ARTICLE WE LOOK AT SOME WINES, VERMUT AND CAVA WHICH WE HAVE TASTED RECENTLY AND RECOMMEND FOR XMAS CELEBRATIONS.
Vermut ‘Secret Thing’ Bodegas Sebiran, DO Utiel-Requena 14.5%ABV. From the Campo Arcis bodega Sebiran. This is a new Vermut, another experiment turned ‘reality’ from Ken Wagener. Described as a ‘German Vermut’ in one newspaper, it uses white, rosado and red wines which are filtered to remove the colour as its base wine. 14 botanicals including mainly ajenjo (wormwood) and then natural wine sugars in the finish! A slightly lower alcohol makes a lighter and very pleasant aperitif. Enjoy!
Vermut Bitter Orange, Cent Piques, Bodegas Vinados, DO Valencia. A new Vermut from this bodega in Fontanares based on bitter orange. Again, a lighter style this is proving very popular amongst the bodega’s aficionados and we thoroughly recommend it as a pre-Xmas meal aperitif!
Chardonnay, Fermentado en Barrica 2017, Bodegas Nodus, DO Utiel-Requena 12.5%ABV (Magnum). Nodus is the bodega situated on the road between Venta del Moro and Caudete de las Fuentes. A magnum is considered the ideal size for ageing wine.
The grapes are grown in the bodega’s own vineyards, harvested and fermented in new French oak barrels. An open, clear, bright wine, straw coloured with splashes of gold. Elegant and complex on the nose, with tones of young wood, tropical fruit and vanilla. Harmonious in the mouth, well-structured and with a light acidity. Its finish recalls fruit and oaky notes. Perfect with smoked salmon!
Viognier Tostado Lento, 2016, Vins del Comtat DO Alicante, 12.5%ABV. Winemaker David Carbonell is credited with introducing this variety to the Valencian vineyards. He is in our view the best producer of wines from Viognier. The wine takes its name from the short fermentation and crianza (about 2 months in total) in lightly toasted French Oak.
Viognier is notoriously difficult to make good wine with when oak is used. However, David has converted this wine into a fine art. Pale straw in colour with gold flashes, clean and bright. It has a slightly sweet nose with toffee, white flowers, white stone fruit (apricot) and very fine notes of the oak with light balsamic notes. In the mouth it has notes of the wood on entry, very fine, delicate and full of flavour. Once again you note the work in barrel with the lees, which gives the wine some additional volume and complexity, it is aromatic, has a mature acidity and slight bitter notes which give it an exceptional freshness. This vintage may be hard to source now but the 2017and 2018 vintages are excellent!
Las Fincas Blanco Dos Garnachas 2018, Bodegas Chivite Family Estates, Vino de la Tierra 3 Riberas, 14%ABV.
Neither a Blanc de Noirs nor a Blanc de Blancs, this is a combination of Garnacha Blanca and Garnacha Tinta, (50% each) made by Chivite’s winemaker César Muñoz. The Garnacha Tinta is pressed quickly to avoid colour and brings red fruit, (redcurrant and pomegranate) to the nose whilst the Garnacha Blanca brings white flowers. This wine will need a little time in the glass to open up, it is a fact that in white wines made from red grapes the wine needs time for the elements to display fully. In the mouth the wine shows white fruit pulp, notably pears, and a hint of the oak from the crianza. There is also evidence in the depth of body of the work with the lees during this crianza. It is graceful, strong and elegant with a long satisfying finish.
Delit, Plaer de Monastrell, 2017, Bodegas Finca Collado DO Alicante 14.5%ABV. It is a pure Monastrell from old vines ‘en-vaso’ from around Salinas and its former salt lagoon. The wine is from slightly more mature grapes, fermented in stainless steel and then subject to crianza in French oak with the lees from the Chardonnay production. It is only put on the market 2 years after the vintage and only made in the best years.
The result is a deep black cherry colour wine, brilliant, which on the nose shows tertiary notes of patisserie, creamy notes from the malolactic fermentation and red fruits, cherries in evolution as the wine opens up into a harmonious bouquet. In the mouth it is very elegant on entry, full of flavour, balanced acidity, well-integrated round tannins, and finishing with long creamy notes. A wine to keep for 5-10 years but can be enjoyed now.
Bobos Finca la Borracha 2017 Bobal, Bodegas Hispano Suizas, DO Utiel-Requena 13.5%ABV. Situated close to the hamlet of El Ponton, Hispano Suizas is a ‘bodega de referencia’ with all of its wines receiving very high scores in the various reviews and magazines and winning large numbers of prizes. This Bobal is from the vineyard immediately next to the Bodega, the former Finca La Borracha. It is from low producing 80-year-old vines. Whole berry fermentation in new oak barrels of 400litres. After the fermentation, the wine is moved to 300 litre Allier oak barrels for at least ten months.
Intense red colour with long legs, the nose combines both red fruit and oaky notes, together with forest floor and balsamic notes from the wood. Very full on entry, quite ‘fat’ majestic, it aligns balanced elegant tannins and mature fruit with light notes of the crianza, a long finish with a fresh acidity.
Tantum Ergo 2017 Brut Nature Pinot Noir, Hispano Suizas DO Cava (Requena). 12%ABV. This Pinot Noir has been judged most consistently the best cava from Spain from the best bodega in Spain! (Penin, Parker, Verema, Sevi-net and the Association of Spanish wine writers all concur on this!) The grapes are pressed after 2 hours maceration, fermented in open top new American oak barrels each year before the second fermentation in bottle and 15 months ‘en rima’. Pale salmon in colour with fine bubble, clean and very bright. On the nose powerful fruit aromas, red fruits, toasty notes, dried fruits, sweet spice such as vanilla. In the mouth full, spicy, rose-water and white stone, creamy notes, cherries and a nicely balanced acidity in a long finish.
By Riki Wigley & Marian Daras
VÍ Vid is a project supporting the development of wine knowledge and gastronomy in the Valencian Community. We run wine clubs, give tastings of Valencian wines in English and support wine-makers and bodegas directly. We can be found in Instagram (Vivid8402), and through our blog VÍ Vid at https://vvidblog.wordpress.com, in Facebook, (https://www.facebook.comVivideventos) and in Twitter @vividvinos.