05-12-2014

Sherry Triangle tasting at the convent of Santo Domingo

presentation

For most, the image of Spain being exactly like Mexico but with a “lisp” is due to most people equating Andalusia, the furthest south region of the country, with being what Spain is and assuming that architecture in the New World went back to Andalusia instead of the other way around. Geographic correctness aside, we took a trip down to Sevilla and the greater Jerez/Cádiz region to dig in to Sherry a great deal more.

On our second day there, our friends took us to a tasting organized by DO Jerez at the convent of Santo Domingo in El Puerto de Santa María. A lovely setting, it was in its second edition this year. Last year, there were 12 cellars from the Sherry Triangle. This year, it had grown to 17 with 64 wines presented and it appeared that attendance was stronger than the year previous.

But the genius of the event wasn’t the fact that you could gain access to so many great Sherries for only 5€ and taste all you wanted, it was that the people manning the tasting tables were actually the students of the local enology school located at the convent. This is an aspect that is lost on a great many schools in that while it’s great to learn the technical skills to make wine, at some point, you’re going to have to tell someone about it who has encountered neither the product nor you before. And so there were these students talking about each of the wines which was a touch difficult for them as they weren’t working at the cellars. Some were quite terrified as, much like the rest of Europe, public speaking is a skill that is almost never taught–which is why an exercise such as this is so critical here.

Of course, if there’s a foreign looking person in the crowd to be spotted, that’s probably what they’ll run in the local media, which is exactly what Diaro de Cádiz did.

Otherwise an excellent chance to taste a great many Sherries, some of which we ended up buying before leaving the region such as those from Maestro Sierra to complement the Emilio Hidalgos already in our personal cellar. It is however important to note that while you can pretty much roll with drinking Sherry all day long, one small word of advice: if you can’t spit, don’t taste the creams, moscatels and other strong sweet wines after tasting all the dry wines. The alcohol in the former will knock you flat on your unsuspecting ass.

WINES

Álvaro Palacios - L’Ermita 2016
Very light red cherry, raspberry, tea leaves, dried fennel, light touch of anise, bay leaf, dried flowers, touch of fig compote, truffle. Exceptionally light and delicate on the palate, very very fine red fruits, integrated tannins, plush with a slightly buttery, velvety aspect, very long finish.
85% Grenache 14% Carignan 1% "Others" · 15% · 1160EUR
97+ 3 Stars

Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
95 3 Stars

Álvaro Palacios - Les Aubaguetes 2016
Linear plum and dark cherry notes, powdery cocoa, orange peel and blossom, raspberry at the base along with minor vanilla and dark spice touches. Delicate on the palate, light touches of dark fruit, good wealth of tannins yet held in check, medium plus acidity, very long finish. Needs much more time in the bottle.
77% Grenache 21% Carignan 1% Grenache Blanc 1% Macabeu · 14.5% · 455EUR
95+ 3 Stars

Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
94 3 Stars

Aquila del Torre - Primaluce 2015
Bruised yellow apple, bit of fig compote, chalky mineral notes, and hazelnut. Light oxidized touches that work to embellish the wine. Rich palate that carries lovely texture with the age of the wine.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 13.5%
93 2 Stars

Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
93 2 Stars

AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
93 2 Stars

Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015
Dark ruby, minor rim. Big, mighty bouquet of red cherry and other brambly forest fruit, vanilla, almond blossom, orange peel, and cocoa. Rich and full on the palate with a wealth of tannins still integrating, leading into a crunchy, lingering finish.
80% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah 10% Grenache · 14% · 14EUR
93 2 Stars

Terroir Sense Fronteres - Guix Vermell 2017
Crisp red cherry fruit, touch of spice, flecks of pepper, baking spice, compacted, wet earth. Delicate on the palate, stays fresh, surprising high wealth of tannins, long finish.
100% Grenache · 13% · 250EUR
93+ 3 Stars

Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
93+ 3 Stars