A Masterclass in Galician Wines and tasting of new DO Monterrei Wines: VÍ Vid Reports from Castellon with FASCV.

Monday 16 September, Castelló:

Galicia, the Northwesterly corner of Spain, sitting atop Portugal on the map is often considered to be similar to Cornwall. Famous for its rugged coastline and shellfish, it´s granite and Atlantic weather, it´s history covering the emigration of the Celtic people and their onward routes North to Britain, Ireland and Scotland.

The day started with a Masterclass in wines from four of Galicias 5 DO´s. (Monterrei was excluded because there was to be a presentation of 42 new wines later in the afternoon.)

Galicia is home to the Wine Denominations of Ribeiro, Rias Baixas, Monterrei, Valdeorras and Ribeira Sacra, producing some of the most distinctive white wines and drinkable light reds in Spain.

Its soils are the most acidic in Europe, if not the world (making the white wines bone dry,) they are sandy and well drained but contain granite and in Valdeorras, shale and are starved of natural vegetal matter.

The masterclass was given by Luis Paadin, assisted by his son Alejandro whom VÍ Vid had met in the last edition of this event in La Matandeta in Valencia´s Albufera last year. Once again it was organised by FASCV, the Valencian Federation of Sumiller Associations, the over-arching body responsible for the training and awarding of Sumiller status in the Valencian Community.

Luis is considered the expert , is the author of the Guide to Galician Wines, is an independent judge in many International and National wine Competitions and a good friend of many of Valencia´s top sumillers.

He began with a short history history of the region in the Iberic period, carried on through the Romanic perod , through a time where it was better known for exporting vine cuttings rather than producing wines, then a period of top quality wines exported to South America , the collapse in the 20th Century and the subsequent revival (1969) which carries on today.

Following this introduction we tasted a range of eight white wines from the local varieties ( Albariño, Treixadura, Godello) and two reds (Mencia and Garnacha Tintorera) from the Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra, Rias Baixas and Valdeorras which highlighted the characteristics of each variety and in the case of the whites contrasted the different soils, climatic elements and relative height above sea-level amonst other issues. This gave the participants a good, if limited, insight into the wines and a very good basis for continued practice!

We were introduced to a new sparkling wine, ‘Feitizo da noite‘ which is an Albariño BRUT, a new concept of Rías Baixas wine, a surprising sparkling wine, original and full of personality.

It was good also to see the students of the Castelló Centre of Tourism were invited to participate alongside the professionals for whom the Masterclass had been arranged.

VÍ Vid is also pleased to say that the `practice´ continued over lunch in the Antiguo Casino in central Castelló. Following a interview of David Remolar Ramos ( President of FASCV) and Luis Paadin by COPE Radio, a number of guests (Marilu Martin (former President of FASCV), Miguel Barrera (Cal Paradis) Vicente Flors (Bodegas Flors) joined some of the sumillers for lunch where the mornings wines were `paired´ with several dishes.

The menu included Flamenquines, Tuna Salad, Revuelto with Longaniza and Morcilla, Paella Valenciana ( de la Plana Alta with the addition of pork ribs and artichokes), and Flan Casero. Local wines were added including Flors Tempranillo 2015, Roques Negres Syrah 2016, Clos D’ Esgarracordes (17 months oak) and ‘Bi’ Barranc de l’Infern.

The second part of the day was the presentation of the new wines from DO Monterrei held in the Llibrell de Raül on the port of Borriana. 42 white and red wines from 21 Bodegas were shown from the DO which only gained its status in 1994. This is the fourth year DO Monterrei have shown their wines and VÍ Vid has attended each of them. This year it is part of a tour taking in other cities such as Ourense, Madrid, A.Coruña, Fisterra, San Sebastián, Bilbao and Ciudad Real amongst others.

The whites are steely in colour with yellow gold tones and are generally from Treixadura, Godello, and/or Albariño, the reds from Mencia, Arauxo (Tempranillo) and Bastardo.

26 Bodegas and 418 growers make up the DO currently covering just 579 hectares.

The bodegas participating were:-

Ladairo, Pazos del Rey, Gargalo, José Antonio Da Silva Pereira (Vinos Lara), Terras do Cigarrón, Pazo Blanco Núñez (Tapias Mariñán), Fragas do Lecer, Manuel Guerra Justo, Tabú, Franco Basalo, Alba Al-Bar (Daniel Fernández), Trasdovento, José Luis Gómez Ibáñez (Valderello), Crego e Monaguillo, Fausto Rivero Pardo (Quinta Soutullo), Pazo de Valdeconde, Quinta do Buble, Concepción Paradela Martínez (Abeledos), Castro de Lobarzán, Pazo das Tapias y Triay Adegas de Oímbra.

VÍ Vid particularly liked the Godello and the Treixadura/Albariño from Crego e Monaguillo, the similar whites from Gargalo, the Quinta Das Tapias Godello, the Pazo de Tapias ‘Alma de Blanco’ Verdello and Pazos del Rey and Tabú,(all 8/10) with the Trias Adegas de Oimbra ‘Triay’ scoring the highest (8.5).

In reds, the Alma de Tinto from Pazo das Tapias, the Frago de Corvo and the Castro de Lobarzán stood out.

Borriana Port.

Once again it was a real pleasure to accompany FASCV in one of their important events and to be able to record and report it. Our thanks go to David Remolar Ramos and Marilu Martin who always make us feel part of the ‘family’.

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