Wine trip around Spain, Helsinki march 2012

Alberto Marin from Uniquetour had invited a few wine friends to taste the variety and uniqueness of Spanish wines. Spanish Tourist Office in Helsinki and its elegant and old-fashioned appearance was right place for ten different wines to be tasted during a winter evening. Heikki Remes, wineman from Finland, had collected some wines just for this occasion. He wanted that tasters themselves find out the aromas, mouth feeling and the taste of the wines and make their own judgments and opinions what they will taste.

Spanish wines are familiar to Finnish people over decades. They like the colors, aromas, softness and versatility of the wines, as well as the match up with the food.

Spain was the keyword on the table where sparkling, white wines, red wines and fortified wines were with some tapas.

Wines to be tasted were a mix of different wines made around Spain with variety of grapes.

The first wine came from Katalonia representing best from Codorníu. Codorníu Reina Maria Christina Cava is made in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. It has straw-yellow color, delicate bubbles and floral fragrance. Taste has red fruit, strong body and clear freshness. This vintage cava 2008 is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Next white wine was from Galicia. It is made mainly from Albarino, one of the best and aromatic grapes in Spain. Santiago Ruiz Albarino has yellow straw, greenish color and very aromatic, fruity nuances. Taste is fresh, flavorsome and long. Wine is made of Albarino (70%), Loureiro, Treixadura, White Caino and Godello.

Last but not least white came from Rueda. Almudena Garcia from Prado Rey had sent two wines for this tasting. PR 3Barricas Verdejo 2008 is exceptional because of the aromas. Rarely one gets Verdejo that is oaked. This wine had undergone fermentation in three different oak vats. Color is bright yellow and had tropical and toasted notes. Taste is acid, well balanced and long.

When turning to red it was time to have an aperitiff. Dos Cortados, Palo Cortado Solera Especial 20 Years is a fortified wine that arouses discussion. Palo Cortado is a sherry that can’t be made, it just sometimes appears. It is made from Palomino grape and has old gold and amber color. Aromas are pungent, intense and complex and taste is dry, excellent acidity, long and elegant.

The first red wine was a surprise, because the price and quality level in really good. Los Monteros 2008 is made of Monastrell and Merlot grapes. Monastrell, familiar to Valencia area, comes from old vines that can be recognized from the wines. Color is dark red and aromas are light earthy, intense and complex. Taste is full bodied, concentrated, smooth and long.

Going north from Valencia one enters Priorat. When seeing the terrain and slopes one might presume that here are pruduced strong and fullbodied wines. GV5 2007 verifies this suspect. Wine made from Carignan, Grenache Noir, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in dark red, very intense, elegant and fruity. Taste is mineral, strong and long.

Travelling towards north one comes to Costers de Segre area. Raimat Vallcorba 1999 reveals strong and very fruity characters. This wine is made of Cabernet Sauvignon and reveals deep cherry red color. Aromas are very fruity and ripe, concentrated. Taste is powerful in the mount, chocolate and persistant.

Going west one comes finally to Rioja, the most famous wine area in Spain. Here Faustino I Gran Reserva 1986 give the opportunity to taste what oak means to wine. In this time there is 26 years old bright red on a glass. Faustino I Gran reserve is blend of Tempranillo (90%), Mazuelo and Graciano. Further one can taste and estimate how long to store wines? The wine from 1986 is bright red, mature and smooth, complex, ripe cherry and woody. Old man is in safe and sound!

Last red wine is a wine from Ribera del Duero. Prado Rey Elite gives the impression what Tinta Fina (Tempranillo) 2006 is at its best! Wine made from Elite clone from Tempranillo is granite red, fruity, aromatic with taste on minerality, integrated tannins and is well balanced.

As a dessert wine the last wine is something unforgettable. Mahogany-black, dense and full of aromas, like raisins and fig. Taste is like syrup, sweet, low acidity and long. This is Don Guido, Pedro Ximenez Solera Especial 20 Years from Jerez. True expression of Pedro Ximénez grape. Sugar only 380g/l!

With wine greetings Heikki Remes, wineman from Västinniemi.
Text: Heikki Remes
Photos: Eeva Remes, Carmen Gracia, Mikko Niemi


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