Monday, December 12, 2005

Mariano Garcia

Fashionable Wine-Designers..

waiting for trendy wines to be tasted...
Tasting wines on a cold Saturday morning at 10 AM is a radical X-treme sport. "Lavinia" is a very professional wine-trade business which reminds me of some St James's-based universally known joints like "Berry Bros." The wine tasting theme was "Viños de Moda" meaning that we were going to try some non-traditional new wines that have been spotted by the gourmet journalistic crowd and talked about.
"Aalto" ( 2002), made by Mariano Garcia, the famed oenologist of top class Vega Sicilia was the first one to be tasted, and was recognized as a good example of new trends in the Ribera del Duero region; "Trasnocho" (also 2002) was a portentous wine of Fernando Ramirez de Ganuza (at 65 € a bottle the experience of new Riojas do not come cheap) ; "Pintia" (2002) the venture of Vega Sicilia in the Toro region was an interesting 100% Tinta de Toro ( a Tempranillo cousin); "Calchetas" (2002) was a curious blend of Grenache, Tempranillo and Malbec (!); "Paixar" (2002) from 60 years old vines of the autochthonous Mencí­a grape variety was one of the stars of the tasting; and "Mas Doix" (2002), another Alvaro Palacios-related venture in the Priorat region, is a sure winner. ( My personal favourites were "Mas Doix" (new style), "Paixar" (new traditional style) and "Trasnocho" (best nose) ).
The social dynamics of a wine-tasting are quite unique. A dozen people around a table with rows of elegantly-looking glasses who had never met before became a cohesive end-of-term classroom just after the fourth glass.. Is it the rising alcoholemia or the shared passion that act as social lubricant?.. It doesn't matter.. A cold Saturday morning can become a very warm experience indeed...

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