Monday 23 September Hotel Caro and Sucede Restaurant, Valencia.
Following the tasting covered in Part 1 we enjoyed an aperitif before lunch. The whole day was part of a tour introducing Fusion 2016, a limited edition jamón which retails for 550€. It is a jamón based on three elements; their own livestock, the ‘dehesa’ (pasture) and a combination of the climates of Guijuelo and the Sierra de Huelva.
Once again, from the Iberian pig, and fed in the same way, the jamón is cured for 12 months in the cold, dry atmosphere of Guijuelo before air-drying in Huelva for 24 months where the Atlantic applies its influence.
This gives a jamón which is between red and rose in colour, soft, unctuous and fresh, elegant and complex. The aroma is deep and intense, with a deep flavour.
Castro y Gonzaléz also showed other ibéricos from this range, lomo de bellota ibérico, salchichón, and mini-burgers from acorn fed pork.
This was accompanied by Taittinger Champagne, Brut Reserve. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are blended in this 12% ABV champagne. Pale yellow it is noted for its floral nose. Crisp citric notes and white flowers are evident in this elegant wine, perfect for an aperitif. (35€)
The lunch had been created by the chef at Sucede, Miguel Ángel Mayor. It was entirely designed to accompany a selection of Taittinger Champagnes from their extensive and quality range.
The second Champagne was Taittinger Prestige Rosé Brut, 35% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier from Les Riceys and Montagne de Reims and 12%ABV. Rose to Strawberry in colour with fine persistent bubbles it has fresh aromas of raspberry, strawberry, and cherry fruit. It is elegant in the mouth, finishing with chalky and mineral notes. (46€)
This accompanied a plate of Carpaccio of Presa Ibérica, encurtidos and an ice-cream of ajoblanco. Incredibly soft it melted in the mouth.
Taittinger ‘Folies de la Marquetteria’, predominantly Chardonnay (55%) with 45%Pinot Noir 12%ABV came next. Intense yellow in colour with fine persistent bubbles. Peach and apricot jam, patisserie, brioche and vanilla on the nose. In the mouth body, fruit, with yellow peach, long powerful finish with notes from the oak in which the free run juice is fermented. (70€)
This accompanied a Skate wing with Black butter served with a pisto and dill. Light, full of flavour which was delicate it matched perfectly.
Champagne Nº 4 was the Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Grands Crus Blanc de Blanc 2007. This is an exceptional Chardonnay made only in the very best years. The bubbles are light and abundant, it is pale yellow in colour. The nose is intense, abundant notes of cream, patisserie and richly aromatic. In the mouth the well integrated bubbles lead to a tight, well defined attack, the wine is full with a good balance, fruit, blood grapefruit. The finish is rich, long and complex with a delightful fresh aspect. (115€)
This accompanied Secreto de Presa Íberica, with an emulsion of truffle and tuétano de brocoli. The meat was succulent, rich and with the subtle sauces married perfectly with the powerful champagne.
Taittinger Prelude is 50% each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This is made exclusively from Grands Cru vineyards and following fermentation of the first pressing and 5 years en rima provides a Champagne which is at once delicate and well structured and for keeping. The balance between the minerality of the Chardonnay and expressivity of the Pinot Noir is exceptional. A Champagne full of complex and rich flavours. (45€)
All of which made it perfect to accompany a dessert of Naranja, Mistela, and Azafrán which was fresh, light and clean on the palate.
Our final Champagne before the coffees was Taittinger Nocturne, a wine from Chardonnay (40%) and (60%) Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It is a selection from 30+ base wines from various vineyards and vintages with four years en rima. It has a higher dosage of sugar in the ‘licor de expedición’. Pale yellow with irridescent flashes, it has bubbles which form in fine strings. Subtle aromas, delicious notes of yellow peach and dried apricots. Smooth and unctuous in the mouth, fresh and with grapes in syrup, round, full and mature. (40€)
Opportunities to taste the wines of a single Champagne house in Valencia are as rare as hens teeth. Designed to accompany such a “top menu degustación” based on Castro y González products and in the company of colleagues from the press, enologists, sumilleres and Verema was the icing on the cake of a very special day.