You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Baleares’ category.

It has been a long vacation away from the blog -urgent things did not allow me to spend time on the important ones. I have just returned from a rather short holiday, spent between the Atlantic coast of Galicia and the Mediterranean shores of Majorca. In these August weeks I have tasted a few different wines, some old friends, some new acquaintances. Here is my list of impressions and feelings about them, with the hope that my comment will re-launch our conversation on wine and more.

I discovered in the beginning of the summer season Baigorri, thanks to my friends from Barolo, the trendy Madrid wine store in Príncipe de Vergara 211, a beautiful place where you can talk and learn about wine without any rush. They recommended Baigorri crianza highly, a new Rioja from Alava, and I am very glad I trusted them. Baigorri is a perfect young red wine for the amazing price of around 9 euros, a modernized version of the best crianzas in the region.

On August 15, big celebration day in my Galician family, we drank Roda I, the up market, trendy Rioja (unfortunately my Conde de Rodas identity has no connection witht this wine at all!) and we truly enjoyed the depth of colour and taste of this Reserva. I cherish the wonderful pictures of my daughter Blanca taking pictures at all of us while we toasted to her and to all the family.

The rest of the days in Monterroso, Galicia, my brother in law provided us with Valenciso 2002, from one of my favorite wine makers. The 2002 edition is very nice but I preferred the amazing 2001 one and I am looking forward to their 2004 creature. Last but not least one of our night outs in La Coruña we drank La Montesa Herencia Remondo, a serious but sensual Rioja for an amazing price.

We then moved to our Mediterranean refuge in Valldemossa and for the first time in my life I ordered a wine that was unkown to my father in one of our outings -so far, I had never been able to surprise him. The lucky strike was Allende Rioja 2004, an elegant and seductive Rioja, very Carla Bruni like and the date was August 23, 2008, just for the record. My father liked Carla, meaning Allende, so much, that he said: “it’s OK”.

The last day in Majorca we had lunch with my cousin Juan and his wife Adela in their beautiful house hanging over the Son Gallard cliffs, overlooking the sea. I brought him “Son Bordills”, Shiraz, a wine from the island that I have commented before and once we started drinking their terrace was paradise, a real one, unlike the one experienced by bored Robert Graves, the writer who retired to the nearby village of Deia saying: “this is paradise, if you can stand it” (in a letter to Virginia Woolf).

The last weekend we flew back to La Coruña, Galicia and we drank the best wine so far this summer, Cortes de Cima, from the South of Portugal, a happy, singing wine that soothen for me the abrupt end of the season.

One of the things I admire about Peter Sisseck, the creator of Pingus, is his self-definition as “a lazy wine-maker”. A lot of us rush trough life, doing many things and doing them fast, too infuenced by ideas of overproduction and so called efficiency. Hence we miss a lot of very good things related to contemplation, siesta and walking on the slow lane. Not this summer and not when it comes to my writing about wine! I am unshamed to have been these past weeks a lazy wine-blogger. I have forgotten to look at the watch. Days have been long and nights have become part of my freedom. Nevertheless, I have found very good wines to comment in the last couple of months and finally here is my somewhat lazy recollection of them.

I begun my summer in Washington DC. The day I arrived my friend Franz Drees invited me to dinner in his house. I was walking in M Street, Georgetown when I got his call and I went into a local wine shop, Potomac wines and spirits, looking for a Spanish wine to bring to the party. I was happy to find a very broad selection of new and old Spanish wines, much better than during my years in Boston, in the early nineties, when the Spanish wine section consisted of two second rate Riojas and some not very moving “Mediterranean” wines. I decided to get two bottles of Viña Izadi, a beautiful and smooth young Rioja that has never let me down, as elegant as, well, as my favorite Washington writer, Christopher Buckley. Read the rest of this entry »

To tell you the truth, I normally enjoy wine without thinking too much about the food I have with it. But this week in two ocassions I realized how a a wine becomes sensational thanks to something one is eating and viceversa, how sometimes food is wondrously enhanced by a certain wine.

The first perfect match was in Casa Hortensia, a classic restaurant from Asturias in the heart of Madrid. The old fashioned waiter brought automatically a plate of Cabrales cheese to our table as an apetizer, together with village bread, an “hogaza”. Without anticipating the cheese, we had ordered Viña Albina Reserva 2000, a trustworthy, elegant Rioja, very well priced. It comes from Bodegas Riojanas, one of the most respected and traditional companies in the region. The unplanned combination of Cabrales cheese, bread and wine was heavenly and ordering anything else we devoted our full attention to enjoying this miracle.

The second unexpected “perfect match” was a combination of Son Bordils Negre 2002 with red mullets in gelée sauce in El Bodegón, perhaps the best restaurant in Madrid today. Its house wine is actually Viña Albina, but since I was there with two wine mavens who already know Rioja upside down, I chose Son Bordils, a new wine from Majorca. This wine was made for the first time in 1998 in the plains of Inca, in an area where wine has been produced since the XIII century. I had tried it a few summers ago in Valldemossa and had become a favorite Majorcan, together with Anima Negra. Son Bordils is a very modern, direct, expressive wine, with an intriging touch of sulphur. But we really started to rave about it when we tasted it together with the red mullets. It was a glorious trip to a Mediterranean summer night.