Encrucijado 2014 

A top wine, getting better every time I try it – and seems to show something different too. Today (and maybe in this glass) it is amazingly aromatic and has a more vertical feel on the palate too. Lovely – and as those in the know can see, still available at Territorio Era.

Eduardo Ojeda in Lavinia 

As you can see from the compressed nature of the collage above, a fella was present at a fantastic evening in Lavinia this week. A dinner with the great Eduardo Ojeda of Grupo Estevez (including Valdespino and La Guita) and, of course, Equipo Navazos. And my kind of dinner too: six courses with 13 wines and a brandy! Not just any wines either.

It was a top evening in every respect: first class wines, excellent knowledge from the horse’s mouth, food was good, company was charming, and the structure of the tasting was excellent. 

A lesson in expression

I have a lot to write up, some of it even related to Jerez, but wanted to share some thoughts from tasting these five quite magnificent Chateau Neuf du Pape with David Martinez at el Mostrador de Vila Viniteca last night. 

They were all at the very top level, but for  me two stood out – the very first, Domaine de Marcoux Vielles Vignes 2009, which had a concentrated jammy fruit and liqueur that shouted out Chateauneuf; and the second, the amazing Chateau Rayas 2008, which had aromatics and a kind of ethereal strength that could only be, well, Chateau Rayas, which famously has cool terroir soil in a hot place. Talk about wines with personality. 

I am not saying that this level of expression is possible in Jerez, but surely we ought to be at least trying?

Fino Williams Colección Añadas 2009 – Saca de February 2017

They are back, the Williams Coleccion Añadas by Williams & Humbert, probably the leading champions of añada wines in el marco. Here by the glass (or two) at Territorio Era. 

And this new saca is even more like the old one – maybe even better. The gorgeous colour, the sweet hazelnut nose and the sweet/salty combination in the palate – incredible hazelnut sweetness tempered with a mineral saltiness – and a zingy finish,  which again leaves a long nutty sweetness in its wake. 

Not comparable to other finos, or even amontillados, that I can think of (except the ones in its own family of course). A unique wine and a fantastic advert for finos de añada. 

Fino Soto 

This has been a fair time in the bottle and it shows, at least at the beginning, with a pretty flat nose and a lot of liquorice on the palate. Improves after a little air and loses those more jarring notes on the nose. Had a serious palate with good salinity – even heat – but still a little too liquorice heavy for my tastes. 

Not really my bag but worth tasting – the bodega has quite a history or so I am told. One of the 105 (!!!!) generosos now available by the glass at Territorio Era

Big weekend in Madrid 

Big couple of days coming up here in the capital. Tomorrow not one but two top class events: Primitivo Collantes in Taberna Palo Cortado and Eduardo Ojeda of Equipo Navazos and the Estevez Group in Lavinia. Then, on Friday night a festival of Jerez, also at Lavinia.

Hard decisions have to be made and I will only be able to attend one of the three: Eduardo Ojeda in Lavinia. It is a shame because Primitivo Collantes gave anabsolute masterclass in Enoteca Barolo recently and last year’s feria at Lavinia was cracking fun. (There was a similar clash a little while ago – Ramiro Ibañez at Taberna Palo Cortado at the same time as Antonio Barbadillo at Lakasa.)

Anyway, my loss but I hope the rest of you have more luck!