Vino de Iberia

A great tasting of Iberian wines at Cambridge Wine Merchants last night, led by Hal. Opened with a gorgeous Manzanilla to complement the warmed almonds, followed by a good Albariñho. The first Portugese wine was an oaked white which had all the feel of a good Californian Chardonnay, and I liked it so it must have been good.

A lively rose gave us the chance to compare 2004 against 2005. The younger was fresher and more vibrant as you might expect.

We moved on to some reds. A 2001 Rioja Crianza versus a 2001 Almansa Reserva was interesting, with the Rioja winning on style and the Almansa on shear interest. Next a 1995 Gran Reserva from the same Rioja house, which very nearly justified its £14 price tag.

The star of the evening was the Esporao Trincadeira, made in Alentejo by an Australian winemaker from the single eponymous Trincadeira varietal. Very very spicy and full of opulent black fruits.

The tasting closed wonderfully and fatally (19%) with a lush Oloroso sherry which had a Dundee cake nose and yummy complex flavours. In spite of having been to Majestic on Monday, we came away with 9 bottles. It must have been the wine! Next time we should spit – as if!

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