A fantastic lunchtime tasting yesterday with a few good friends at Wine Attack. The subjects were the wines of Alba Viticultores and to an extent the occasion was a return to a similar tasting a year or so ago.
There were of course differences. That first tasting was the first time I and my colleagues really got to grips with these wines, and there was a sense of freshness and discovery that it would be impossible to repeat. But there were also similarities: some of the wines we tasted yesterday were in fact the same wines with more time in rima, and others were only subtly different to the wines we had tasted before.
There was also a return to one of the big topics of conversation around the wines of Alba Viticultores: their price. These tend to be, by the standards of the sherry region, relatively expensive (roughly €15-€40). However, it strikes me as curious what a big issue this seems to be for those who have been involved in the two tastings (particularly since I paid for the wines on both occasions). First, they are hand made, largely natural, small production wines. Second, if the wines sell then I am not going to argue with the prices (and they certainly seem to, – it is certainly not easy to get them). In fact, to me it is almost preferable that the wines are scarce and that the bubbles have similar price points to grower producer champagnes, for example.
More importantly, the tasting was a confirmation of the quality of the wines. The seven wines were generally excellent, a couple of them were really excellent, they prove that with the right care you can indeed make sparkling and unfortified white – and even rosé – wines with palomino, and all down the list there was a demonstration of palomino fino’s ability to express terroir and vintage.
And it was also a lot of fun. The food and snacks laid on by Antonio, Carlos and the team at Wine Attack were first class, the surroundings could not have been more congenial – sitting around a big kitchen table in the back room – and there was even more laughter than wine. Despite the detailed discussion of Manchester music and dancing greats down the ages I even managed to take a few notes, which I will write up shortly, but for the time being, many thanks to everyone for coming along and my compliments once again to Alba Viticultores for some cracking stuff.