Yesterday evening we (9 people) got together over a “BLIND TASTING” of “unfinished wines”, just got out from the tanks to see their possibilities to be finished for being “Young wines” or being kept for aging in barriques.
Another target was guessing if some of us was able to tell the varietals used. With regard to this target, I’ll confess that given the clues that the wines were from Denomination of Origin Navarra and more specifically from San Martín de Unx area, they had quite easy to guess, even though terroir features and work in the winecellar made it difficult to be confident about the varietals.
1.- A wine freshly taken out from the casks, waiting for clarifying and rounding in bottle, has nothing to do with a wine which is “ready” to be launched into the market. The wine, lacking of these necessary steps is astringent, quite astringent. Nothwistanding this, it gives us an idea of its potential in eyes-nose-palate phases and it will be the oenologist who will take the decision about the time the wine needs to be in bottle so that the oxigene reduction makes it evolution, reducing astringency and improving its qualities.
2.- This way the eonologist also gets confirmation with objective data, to decide if aging in barrique will make of it a wine well worth having a long life.
This happened us with the 2nd. Wine, which was made of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Garnacha old vines and 25% Tempranillo. Its high acidity as well as its structure told us that as young wine this red would be unbalanced in acidity and too astringent in mouth due to the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Garnacha old vine; however, it could be a great wine for aging and achieving a well worth wine for laying down.
3.- The third wine was a blend of Garnacha Old Vine and Tempranilly by 50%. It was a wine that although unfinished, it was well balanced, still with light astringency, but promised to be a wine well accepted into the market.
Discussion came when comparing this third wine to the first one that had Garnacha old vine by 75% and rest Tempranillo. This first wine had a “surprising nose” rich in red fresh fruits scents, from the Garnacha and the Tempranillo that were melt into new subtle aromas that made difficult to recognize these varietals. In mouth, however, it had a strong astringency that reminded us the necessity of the last step to have the wine finished.
4.- The three wines showed an outstanding color; the first wine (Garnacha Old vine 75% and Tempranillo), displayed a dark Bordeaux red, with high intensity and thick layer; the third wine, 50% Garnacha and Tempranillo, had high intensity too, but thinner layer due to the fact that the Garnacha old vines grapes are more concentrated, but proportion of this varietal was much lower. With regard to the 2nd wine made of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), and Garnacha and Tempranillo (25%), it had also a very dark red colour, thick layer and high intensity, but “brighter” than the two other wines, bright given by the Cabernet Sauvignon.
To end up this tasting, we changed radically and tasted a white young wine from the same winery, ready to be launched into the market, which surprised us by its freshness and scents to white fruit (pears, green apples, kiwi…) and also to white flowers, with a long, gentle and clean sip that invited us to go on enjoying a curated cheese made of raw sheep milk and a “chorizo” with no additives or preservers made of pigs bred in “semi-freedom”.
In next blog: At the end of the tasting we were talking about the meaning of “cultura of wine”, a very interesting subject to be talked about shortly.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING PART IN THIS TASTING AND GIVE YOUR VALUABLE OPINIONS:
.- Sala de catas 18º (Joanna Viela –oenologist- and Juanjo, business partner) http://18grados.es/
.- Alvaro Ruiz de Apiláñez (oenologist)
.- Marco Mombiela, wine lover and having a deep knowledge on winemaking.
.- Javier Iñigo: Lover of wine and gastronomy.
.- Miguel & Ana: Enthusiasts of wine who love it more and more everyday.
.- Genaro Calvo y Beatriz Sánchez: Fine wine lovers and addict to enogastronomy routes.