Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wine Wednesday at Unwined - Pinot Gris and Tempranillo

Tooting Market, London. Wednesday 21-February-2018

First time back for a while to this excellent little venue (Unwined in Tooting). A tasting of two grape varietals (Pinot Gris / Grigio and Tempranillo) presenting three of each, chosen to showcase the differences created by country, climate and cultivation.

Laura decided to play a 1, 2, 2, 1 formation:

  • First the Specogna to introduce the pinot gris / grigio. 
  • Then an A-B comparison of the Ovum and Ca di Alte, done blind for added fun. 
  • For the reds an A-B comparison of Urbina vs Gran Cerdo.
  • Followed by the Picaro for the grand finale.

An interesting and informative way to structure the tasting.

The Specogna was an interesting pale copper / pink gold colour courtesy of the grape's skin - unusually dark for a white grape. Melon, white peach and green apple on both the nose and the palate. This is classic, quality pinot grigio from Friuli, higher altitude and later harvest (cf the Ca di Alte)

The BK Ovum was light in colour with tropical fruits on the nose and unctuous on the palate. An Australian wine done in an Alsace style. Lovely. On the other hand the Ca di Alte was lighter, sharper and appley, very much the early harvested version from the plains of the Veneto produced for the mass market.

Specogna : Pinot Grigio Ramato : 2016 : Friuli Venezia Guila : ITA £21.00
BK 'Ovum' : Pinot Gris : 2016 : Adelaide Hills : AUS £27.00
Ca di Alte : Pinot Grigio : 2016 : Veneto : ITA £12.00

Next up the reds. I learned that it was because of phylloxera that the French vignerons went to Spain in search of grapes and there introduced the Spanish winemakers to the use of barrels for ageing thus changing the traditional style of Rioja to that we know today. Well, well!

The Urbina was a Crianza that had been given more ageing than legally required which gave it a hint of brick colour on the rim and much smoother tannins, strawberry on the palate. The Gran Cerdo was very similar but younger; ruby, slightly greener tannins and similar palate.

The Picaro was lovely. Ruby and purple in colour, some grip on the palate and tasted of morello cherry and (to my tongue) red velvet cake.

Bodegas Urbina Crianza : Tempranillo/Graciano/Mazuelo : 2008: Rioja : ESP £17.00
Gran Cerdo : Tempranillo : 2016 : Rioja : ESP £10.50
Dominio del Aguila 'Picaro' : Tempranillo/Garnacha/Bobal : 2016 : Ribera del Duero : ESP £29.00

Then we finished off with small plate of three cheeses which were delicious with the Picaro. Another excellent and instructive evening.

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