Bodegas Luis Pérez

My wife and I found this gem of a Bodega in the heart of the Sherry area in Jerez de la Frontera but this time it wasn’t sherry we were tasting but some beautifully made wines including a white made from the plentiful Palomino grape and reds made from the local Tintilla de Rota grape (100%) their prestigious Petit Verdot (100%),  also some blends featuring Petit Verdot, Merlot, Tempranillo and Syrah and last but not least their rather nice Provence style Rosé.

The location was stunning with its rolling hills and white chalky limestone soil with 14 hectares of vineyard and a winery which mixes old and traditional with sleek and modern.

A short introduction taken from their website…..With the purpose if revitalizing the viniculture vocation of the Jerez wine-growing area, that has been producing high-quality wines of different varieties during more than three millenniums, Luis Pérez Rodríguez, professor in Food Technology by the University of Cádiz, awarded with The Gold Medal of Merit in the Oenological Investigation, started a family project in 2002, with the acquisition of a country estate named “Finca Vistahermosa” in the heart of the Jerez vineyards, over the high hill of the “Corchuelo” property. 
The vineyard covers an area of 14 hectares and it is located at the plot of land named “Pago del Corchuelo”, in the heart of the Sherry area, over the hill with the same name. Its altitude offers amazing views over the countryside of Jerez and some areas of the Coast, which allow the _ow of maritime winds, reaching in this way a specific microclimate.
The Grape Varieties (Syrah, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon) and their patterns have been strategically chosen. The methods to drive the wine-growing are carried out under an integrated system, which tends to ecological preservation and control of the production, with the minimum but wise human intervention. All this effort is directed to produce high quality Signature Wines (Author Wines).

On a beautifully hot day we took the short taxi journey from our hotel to the winery where on entering the long road from the entrance the car threw up clouds of dust from the sun-baked soil as we wound our way through the rows of vines to the Bodega with excited anticipation.
On arrival we were warmly greeted by our host and guide Roberto and we were surprised to find that it was just the two of us on the tour. Roberto seemed genuinely pleased to see us and started telling us about the history of the vineyard while gently strolling around the gardens and vines for about an hour and a half. His passion was evident as he answered all our questions with enthusiasm and knowledge.

Grape Graveyard

Whilst walking around we came to an area where they discard the  unwanted  grapes etc during harvest and production, let me tell you the smell was intoxicating.

Next Roberto showed us around the actual winery itself, where state of the art equipment along with traditional are used in making their wines. After the tour the best part, tasting some of their wines.

 

 

We were shown to the tasting room where a selection of wines were prepared for us along with some tasty Tapas including a generous selection of local cheeses, Iberico ham and some delicious pork.

The first wine we tasted was El Muelle de Olaso made with 100% Palomino (the sherry grape) the was bright and very fresh, minerally and hardly any acid, flavours of lemon with hints of peach  and very drinkable with a long finish, paired very nicely with some local Goats cheese.

The next two were reds, the first Tintilla made with 100% Tintilla de Rota (also grape native to the sherry region) and virtually identical to Graciano. This was very aromatic full of dark red fruits, prunes and caramelised orange peel. touch of acidity and pronounced tannins, very unusual and very nice.

Now my favourite, the excellent Samaruco made with 40% Petit Verdot 30% Merlot and 30% Syrah. Deep inky black in colour with a nose of dark cherries, vanilla and dark chocolate. Taste wise, velvety smooth and powerful with noticeable tannins and very chocolatey. Flavour stayed in the mouth long after I swallowed it, this really was excellent, especially with the Iberico ham.

Strangely they served the Rosé last, the Marismilla Tintilla Rosado made with Graciano was a lovely end to the tasting, Aromas of strawberries and peach, tasting of strawberries and cream and very Provence in Style.

All the wines were reasonably priced but they did have a 100% Petit Verdot that we didn’t try, would have loved to but at around €40 a bottle, maybe not ! although we did bring buy a bottle of the El Muelle and the stunning Samaruco which survived the journey home in the suitcase.

This tour was probably the highlight of a fantastic holiday to the Jerez and the Sherry region of Spain, the guys at Luis Perez Bodega made us feel special and I would heartily recommend a visit if you’re in the area, for €15 each it’s money very well spent.

 

My Rating 8.5/10 Corks

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Farmers of Wine – Italian Red Blend

Farmers of WineLooking like a bottle found under a park bench this unusually packaged wine is certainly quirky and definitely stands out on the supermarket shelf but is it any good?

As some of my regular readers may know I belong to a small wine circle called Cuvée Reserve where once a month one of our members select a wine of the month which is easily accessible and under £10 for us all to review. This particular bottle is our March selection and is currently priced at £5.50 from Asda.

Farmers of wine is from the Puglia Region of Italy, a blend of Negroamaro, Zinfandel, locally known as Primitivo, Merlot and Nero d’Avola.

Ok, going back to my first question, is it any good?, for me for the price it’s a resounding yes!

This comes with a cork and has a very intense dark garnet like colour when poured. The nose is fairly muted although there is a hint of ripe dark plums and cherries. The first mouthful has those plums and cherries bursting with juiciness followed by a little dark chocolate. Slightly on the jammy side but not over the top, subtle tannins  and a hit of pepper comes through on the finish. Left in the glass for a while everything softens ending up with a very drinkable Italian for not a lot of money.

I was a little bit sceptical when I saw the gimmicky bottle but rest assured there is nothing gimmicky about the wine, this is a very quaffable mid week drink with Pizza 🍕 or pasta 🍝  I enjoyed it and would probably buy again.

8corks

 

My Rating 8/10 Corks

Asda £5.50

Villa Maria Private Bin Merlot 2013

villa maria MerlotNew Zealand 13.5%

Rummaging around my wine rack, trying to fight my way through many bottles of Spanish wines I seem to have accumulated and trying to ignore the temptation to pick out a bottle of Rioja I decided finally to try something different and something I wouldn’t normally have with Lamb Chops and Mediterranean vegetables the bottle I finally settled on was the Hawkes Bay Villa Maria Private bin Merlot 2013.

Always been a fan of Villa Maria wines and when attending tasting events Villa Maria is always amongst one of the first stands I usually visit, I particularly enjoy their Pinot Noirs especially the Reserve and their Cellar selection.

I opened this just before dinner and couldn’t resist a little sniff and sip and I must say I was slightly disappointed, trouble is I’ve had such positive experiences from Villa Maria I didn’t expect this. Another sniff and aromas of Cherries and plums didn’t exactly jump out of the glass although they were there if you inhaled for long enough.

Didn’t get any earthy or smokey flavours in the mouth, bit lacking in depth and surprisingly a little thin tasting, it was very fruity, full of sharp red fruits, including raspberry, cherry and plums. The tartness was the dominant force but it seemed to be much better when paired with the food and by the end of the meal I enjoyed it far more than my initial taste.

Having said what I have, I still think this is probably better than a lot of wines in this price range but the bar has been set  so high with other Villa Maria wines I’ve tasted, this was however, a touch disappointing.

6corksMy Rating 6/10 Corks

Various around £10

 

Tikves 2012, Vranec & Merlot – Macedonia

TIKVES(450 x 600)Macedonian wine, not everyone’s first choice when browsing the shelves looking for a red wine to go with dinner but do yourself a favour and grab a bottle that mentions the Vranec grape.

I first tasted Vranec a few months ago and thought it was excellent , I’ve now revisited the grape and my thoughts are still that it’s a very decent drink. Vranec is the native red grape of Macedonia and it produces very dark rich full bodied wines.

This particular wine from M&S is called Tikves (most well known wine region in Macedonia). This is a blend of Vranec and Merlot and for £8.99 is well worth a try.
When poured the wine is strikingly deep purple in colour with aromas of ripe plums, blackcurrants, prunes and rich dark chocolate.

Taste – Not for the faint hearted, rich, velvety, bitter sweet jam and fairly tannic (for me pretty much what I like in a wine). It also boasts 14% alcohol but doesn’t feel like it (which can be a good or bad thing) because a lot of the bottle can disappear quickly without realising.

For me, Vranec will definitely feature a lot in my wine rack, so treat yourself and try this Balkan beauty, you may be pleasantly surprised.

8corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

M&S £8.99

Prestige de Calvet Bordeaux 2011

prestige&calvet (338 x 600)France 12.5%

Repeat visit to this Prestige de Calvet  Bordeaux  for me, not because it’s a great wine it just happened to be near the front of my rack and I wanted an inexpensive (it was at the time of buying , around £5)  wine to accompany my evening meal.

Last time I drank this straight from the bottle (although not literally !)  this time I poured a large glass and left it for an hour or so before drinking.  It’s a 80/20 % blend of  Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and  in the glass it was a very dark with an OK nose of dark fruits, mainly black currants, with a whiff of smokiness.  Looking back at my previous notes I mentioned that it was hard to distinguish much aroma wise and this was again the case.

After first opening the bottle the taste was a little tart with just a hint of sweetness but after a while left in the glass it softened to a much more palatable and enjoyable drink. Medium bodied perhaps a little thin but easy to drink and not unpleasant, still with characteristics of a Bordeaux. There was some oaky vanilla and spice and overall  it was a smooth enjoyable drink.

One definitely to consider but only when on offer.

7corks

My Rating 7/10 Corks   Tesco & Various around £8