I meet people from all over the world to go to my favorite bars where we pair their specialties with wines from my cellar. This tapas tour in Madrid requires me to taste as many Spanish wines as I can and I have just started to write down my notes:
Montilla-Morilles-Alvear- Pedro Ximenez Solera 1910 and Pedro Ximenez Solera 1830 These two are very serious wines. Their complexity and density are beyond words. They belong to that league of wines one has to taste at least once in their lives. 1.ooo.ooo points
Rioja-Marques de Riscal-Baron de Chirel 2010 – Beautiful nose of lavender, mouth-watering acidity. Fruity tannins, long finish. It evolves in the glass getting better and better. 98 points.
Málaga-Jorge Ordoñez-No.2 Victoria 2014– Intense aroma and flavors of melon, orange and spearmint. Outstanding concentration. Excellent pairing for ibérico ham de bellota. 98 points.
Utiel-Requena-Hispano Suizas-Bassus Finca Casilla Herrera 2012– Aromatic, young, vibrant, full of life, strawberry and raspberry. 96,5 points.
Rioja-Benjamin de Rothschild y Vega-Sicilia-Macan 2012– This is a powerful, full body, dark red. It desperately needs two more years in the cellar, tannins need time to ripe. 96 points and 98 points in two years.
Ribera del Duero-Vega-Sicilia-Alion 2012– One of the less expensive Vega Sicilia wines. Full of energy and power. It needs two more years in the cellar, tannins need time. 96 points and 98 points in two years.
Rioja-Bodegas Ramon Bilbao-Mirto 2009- This is the top wine of Ramon Bilbao, a gigantic Rioja winery. The nose of the wine has recently changed due to different types of oak barrels that give the wine a nutmeg note. The wine is made by Rodolfo Bastida, one of the most intelligent and ambitious Spanish winemakers. The wine is good, but lacks power, meat, body, intensity. Considering who makes it and the means of the winery I think they could do better. 90 points.
Rioja-Bodegas Bilbao-Mirto 2012– Same note as 2009
Emporda-Perelada- Finca Espolla 2011– It is not as aromatic as the impressive 2009 but this one is more muscular without losing the velvety palate. Aromas of lavender, black olives and plums. At 15€ a bottle this is great value. 96 points.
Castilla y León-Microbio Wines-Sietejuntos Merlot– I must say I didn’t like the Sietejuntos Syrah but the Merlot is a very different story. 97 points.
Castilla y León-Microbio Wines-Rufian– not my favorite wine from Ismael Gozalo. There is this nice violets aroma that disappears after 10 min and that it is what I liked best about the wine. 87 points.
Castilla y León-Microbio Wines-Viñador Soñador, Sin Rumbo and Sin Nombre– Three outstanding white wines made from the Verdejo grape. The acidity and intensity of these wines are as extraordinary as their creator, Ismael Gozalo. If you already have had Verdejo wines from Rueda you must taste the ones made by Ismael, they are light years away. These wines are different due to Ismael’s wine mastery and the fact that he doesn’t use any chemicals. 98 points.
Cava-Castillo de Perelada-Stars– Interesting nose of pine resin. Pleasant bubbles, very easy to drink, lovely Cava. 92 points.
La Rioja-Viñedos de Paganos-El Puntido 2011– seductive cassis perfume but there are more things, outstanding complexity. Velvety mouthfeel, vibrant acidity, great finish. This is a delicate wine that needs the right glass and clean air. 98 points.
Ribera del Duero-Viña Sastre Crianza 2012– It is the highest rated Crianza of the last three years. The wine needs time in the cellar to see whether the tannins smooth up. Any way there is great fruit and power in the wine. 93 points now and 97 if those tannins give in.
Toro-Bodega Burdigala-Campo Eliseo 2011– Smooth and complex wine. 95 points.
Sherry-Bodegas Osborne-Osborne Solera BC 200– One of those wines you have to taste at least once in your life. Sublime. 100 points.
Jumilla-Bodegas el Nido-Clio 2013– This is a full body, Mediterranean red made from the Monastrell grape. Very original toffee nose. 95 points.
Jumilla-Bodegas el Nido-El Nido 2013– It is more intense than the Clio and with that interesting toffee nose. 97 points.
Valencia-Mustiguillo-Quincha Corral 2014– A hell of a wine made from the Bobal grape. 98 points.
Navarra- Chivite Coleccion 125 Vendimia Tardia 2014– Late harvest wine made from moscatel de grano menudo. It reminds you of a Sauternes. Beautiful notes of orange. 97 points.
Rioja- Marques de Murrieta-Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 2007– I had already tasted 50 red wines and this Ygay came as a pleasant surprise. I would love to taste it again. What a well-made wine. 98 points.
Penedes-Bodegas Torres-Mas La Plana Cabernet Sauvignon 2011– Intense and complex perfume lead by lavender. Smooth and pleasant on the palate. 98 points.
Penedes-Bodegas Torres-Grans Muralles 2004– Not as aromatic as Mas La Plana but with an unforgettable palate. 99 points.
Priorat-Vall Llach-Idus 2014– Beautiful nose of blue flowers. Very light on the palate, I would have preferred a fuller body wine. 89 points.
Cava-Pago de Tharsys-Dominio de Requena Brut– It was my favorite wine of the night. Let it age in the cellar for a couple of years. 94 points.
Cava-Freixenet-Reserva Real– More of a French champagne than a Spanish Cava. Great finish and complexity. Tasty. 93 points.
Rioja-Cune-Vina Real Gran Reserva 2001- It is surprising how well this wine has aged. Notes of earth and black cherry. Velvety and easy to drink, what a shame the aftertaste is so short. 93 points.
You can check here the wines I choose for my Madrid food tour