The last tasting of the year, uffffff, hosted by the Buenos Aires let`s have some fun communist Party, literally went off BANG!
With Steven Spurrier`s highly explosive Bride Valley 2013 Rose. Quite delicious, of what was left inside the bottle. In my early days of sitting WSET diplomas, one of the questions was “what is the psi to be found inside a champagne bottle“? the answer if I remember correctly is 75psi. Maybe I am wrong, but there could have been 76 or 77psi in SS`s exquisite fizz. The spewing foam shot through the air like a Brands Hatch winner, saturating one of the guest`s position.
Not to miserable on too much, next up was 2010 Coulle de Serrant (Nick i am so happy to be a B-D man), then 1999 Meo-Camuzet`s Clos Saint Philibert Monopole, which I keep finding with pleasure the odd bottle at the bottom of the cave. A Hand Made? Trapi 2015 Sauvignon Blanc had us all guessing. All three stood out as interesting as they should have been and remember when you taste blind like this, these three are not the easiest to spot on the grid.
Well, the reds, my goodness what a line up:
2013 Villalobos Carignan and their 2014 Carmenere from Calchaqua valley.
2013 Pinot Noir from allwyte Gary Farrell`s Russian River, then we all started freaking out over a 2007 SoT Lefriec`s extraordinary Penedes blend of Merlot, Carignan & Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2013 Contadino of course by Frank Cornellissen needs no volcanic introduction, however Ultreia 2011 from a team up of Raul Perez and Doik Niepoort could have been the red of the night. Tinta Amarela, a first for me, grown on Douro slate or shyste soils and aged a bit in French oak. Super dooper wine that hits off with a very expressive and open aroma, with balsamic profile, floral notes and some spices. The wild fruit shows up very defined and fresh. In the mouth, it is firm on the palate, with notes of wild fruit. Depth and minerality are evident in a good mouth volume. Robust but balanced by good acidity. Very long finish, vibrant and full of character. More please!
Once the clothes were removed, 2014 Priorat ruled!!!! Clos Martinet`s Pesseroles and Escurcons to die for. I fell in love with Pesseroles back in 2010 and ordered magnums from the vineyard. Alas, I forgot to push the send button and it remained in my post to go box. Story of my life, what an idiot. Thank goodness there are still those wonderful 100 year old Carignan vines producing only 1,000 bottles from the 4 hectares.