The wines for this HMWS tasting were selected from Spain’s more obscure regions and grapes
The event was held at The Masonic Hall in Harrogate on Thursday 2 July, starting at 7pm. The tasting was followed by a two course supper prepared by Adam Vear
1. Do Ferreiro Albarino, Rias Baixas 2013 (£14.95)
Possibly Spain’s finest Albarino, made in tiny quantities with great attention to detail by Gerardo Mendez. This was served on arrival.
2. Tio Pepe En Rama 2015
3. As Sortes Godello, Valdeorras 2012 (£28)
Rafael Palacios makes this exceptional Galician Godello which he ferments in barrel like fine white Burgundy.
4. Parotet, Celler de Roure, Valencia (£20)
Made primarily of Mandó, a nearly extinct local grape variety in subterranean clay tinajas – Spain’s take on amphorae.
5. Abel Mendoza Grano a Grano Graciano, Rioja 2011 (£40)
For two generations Abel Mendoza’s family has been farming vineyards in Rioja which are scattered throughout the commune of San Vicente de la Sonsierra (towards the border of Rioja Alta and Alavesa). More than anything in the world, Abel cares for his vineyards, each plot cared for independently and harvest done entirely by hand. The grapes planted are all indigenous including malvasia (a variety widely planted in Rioja in the 18th century), viura, tempranillo and graciano.
Abel is a perfectionist and has no ambition to seek the limelight, so he spends none of his energy (or money) on marketing, preferring to concentrate his efforts in the vineyards and winemaking. It means the wines remain relatively unknown here in the UK yet in Rioja his status is somewhat legendary.
His wines could be described as modern in style in that he uses only French oak and ages the wines for shorter periods than is traditional in Rioja. He produces both red and whites, ignores the local regulations of using age statements on the labels (eg reserva). The wines have a sophistication, complexity and breed that mark them out as one of the single finest producers in Rioja.
6. Clos Mogador, Priorat 2011 (£45)
“Gratallops wines are amongst the most stunning in all of Spain. The ‘Gratallops pioneers’ proved beyond doubt that garnacha and cariñena are perfectly capable of producing highly complex, quality wine – as long as yields are low. The result is that Gratallops wines are amongst the most stunning in all of Spain: their concentration and character are outstanding as is their price.” – John Radford, The New Spain
7. San Roman, Toro 2010 (£26)
Toro can be as gentle as an enraged bull, but San Román has always succeeded at deftness as well as volume. Despite the sheer magnitude of the wine, the finish tapers off into seduction, not assault. Drink five years from now or hold for longer cellaring.
8. Vina Pedrosa 2009, Ribeira del Duero Bodega Hermanos Pérez Pascuas
90% Tinto fino (Tempranillo). 10% Cabernet – Sauvignon. Ageing: 24 months in casks 18 months in the bottle before being put on the market.. Limited production of numbered bottles.
9. Guimaro Mencia, Ribeira Sacra 2013 (£9.99) – Served with supper
The wines of Adega Guimaro are made by Pedro Rodríguez Peréz whose family have been instrumental in renovating the abandoned terraces of mencia that are so steep they rival the Mosel for sheer precariousness. He owns just seven hectares of vineyards, farming them completely by hand, in the tiny region of Ribeira Sacra in Galicia, north-west Spain. Here mencia has been grown for centuries, and to an extent ignored, but in recent years many young winemakers, like Pedro, are rediscovering these ancient vineyards and bringing them back to life with improved viticultural methods.
Pedro’s mencias are the ultimate in refined elegance (he uses virtually no new oak to mask flavours), floral fruit nose and minerality, with impeccable balance and freshness, reminiscent of the best Loire Valley cabernet francs. They reflect the vibrancy and lightness of touch that is typical of the cooler climate in Ribeira Sacra, and are a delight to drink.
The event was sold out by Thursday 14 May. There were 33 reservations. 31 members attended the event.
- “It’s a pleasure to hear that you have selected our Guimaro 2013 wine for your tasting.If you need any information about the wine, the vineyards, winemaking and Ribeira Sacra appellation, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Kind regards,” – Jörgen Gunnarsson, Adegas Guimaro
- The “Hidden Gems of Spain” showed HMWS at its best. The oppertunity to taste a range of rare and unusual wines at a pleasant venue with a good meal. Your presentation was engaging, informed, comprehesine and fun.
Thank you for organising another very enjoyable evening. – Dr. Richard Chaves-Cox
- Thank you for another excellent tasting of some interesting wines wholly unknown to me – I particularly enjoyed the last 2 you presented to us. – Gail Bent
- Congratulations on presenting such a delightful tasting yesterday evening. Your selection of wines really displayed the hidden quality of the huge range of wines that Spain has to offer.
My two favourites were the As Sortes Godello and the Clos Mogador. That said the Graciano Rioja ran them a very close third.
Many Thanks. – Ian Bexon
VMT for last night. The key is ‘hidden’ and I cannot claim to have heard about any of the wines beforehand except for the Sherry, the rest were great and new. Your introductions to each were extremely good and along with personal recollections and remembrances entertaining.Much enjoyed and once again VMT. – John Armstrong
This was a high quality presentation of an interesting subject with excellent wines maintaining the standard set by your recent wine tour across the border in Northern Portugal.For many of the group it was an introduction to godello, mando, graciano, en rama sherry, leading through tempranillo to a grand finale with Clos Mogador from Priorat.With fellowship, a good meal and wine from Ribera Sacra to follow, it was a memorable evening.Thank you, Bernard.– (Drs) Alisdair and Elma(Stewart)