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Delhi Wine Club
Winefuture: Taste and Tour of Wines from Spain

Posted: Monday, 07 November 2011 11:19

Winefuture: Taste and Tour of Wines from Spain

Nov 07: The second edition of Winefuture organised in Hong Kong was inaugurated yesterday at the AsiaWorld Expo, with several penal presentations but Pancho Campo MW who has done an amazing job of getting over a 1000 people to attend, including several top wine personalities, established himself as the Brand Ambassador of Spanish wines with his impressive audiovisual tasting from 13 regions of Spain, writes Subhash Arora from Hong Kong.

As Pancho had promised, it was not a tasting- only of pre-poured 17 wines from 13 regions but a true gastronomical journey through various parts of Spain that would make every Spaniard sing with gusto,’ bhaiyya, all eez well!” and forget about the financial crisis it is going through currently. Football World Cup victory, Ferran Adria, Rafael Nadal, Penelope Cruz and a few other winners were all there on the A/V presentation to remind the delegates of Spanish presence in the world scene but if there was any doubt about fine wines from Spain, Pancho sought to dispel through the presentation and the 17 wines he had carefully selected to give an overall view.

In the gastro-oenological journey, he took the over a thousand participants through to running bulls in Navarra, an Arab Mosque in Córdoba in Andalucía, a view of Zaragoza vineyards in the Aragón in the north-east of Spain from a low-flying helicopter he flew in, flamenco dancers in the Sherry region and many other similar eye-pleasing and impressive visuals like cathedrals. There were culinary preparations from some of the wine producers showcasing crabs, paella and baby lamb among others- all well entwined with wines, vineyards and wineries from these 17 producers most of whom were present in the audience They are convinced of the importance of the wine market in Hong Kong  which has reportedly touched the billion dollar mark recently, an imaginable feat 3 years ago when the government abolished import taxes, VAT and GST on wines.

The short virtual visit to each of these wineries and the vineyards along with an introduction to the owners transported one to Spain and the various regions- and as Pancho clarified for the uninitiated, there is Spanish wine beyond Rioja. Navarra, Priorat, Andalucía, Ribera del Duero, Toro, Empordá, Galicia with its fabulous Albariño, Penedés, Aragon, Cava, Valencia, Jumilla, La Mancha, Rias Baixas were but a few of the regions/wines that were highlighted.

Wines for the Tasting

The following wines were pre-poured. Pancho did not waste too much time in talking about the character of each wine and whether they had more chocolate than coffee or how long and complex the finish. It was a pleasure to find the wines very fresh and complex (he had already primed the audience to be generous, in his smart way).

1.    DO Rías Baixas - Pazo Señorans Albariño 2010
2.    DO Cava - Celler Batlle 2001
3.    DO Penedés - Mas La Plana 2007
4.    DOQ Priorat - Ferrer-Bobet 2008
5.    DO Empordá - Finca Garbet 2005
6.    DO Navarra - Pago de Cirsus Selección de Familia 2005
7.    DO VdP Dominio de Valdepusa - Emeritus 2005
8.    DO VdP Terrerazo - Quincha Corral 2007
9.    DOCa Rioja - Barón de Chirel 2008
10. DOCa Rioja - Trasnocho 2004
11. DOCa Rioja - Finca El Bosque 2007
12. DO Ribera del Duero - Aalto PS 2005
13. DO Toro - Termanthia 2006
14. DO Campo de Borja - Aquilon 2007
15. DO Jumilla - El Nido 2008
16. DO Sherry - Amontillado del Duque VORS
17. DO Montilla Moriles Gran Barquero PX
Click For Large ViewThe wines were generally of very good quality and some of them quite expensive (one of these sells for €100 in Spain!) However, the alcohol level which Pancho did not touch upon seemed to be rather high in many of the wines-perhaps as high as 15 or 15.5% from what the palate sent out as message-even though they were well integrated.

The tasting event was entitled ‘Spanish Wines: Passion and Diversity’. Pancho did display his passion for wines and did showcase the diversity of different regions and the individual characteristics of several local grape varieties like Bobal, Palamino. His gastronomy slides also made the empty stomachs of many who had been sitting through the proceedings the whole day yearn for some solid foods. If the missing baskets of bread rolls had been kept on each table, they might have evaporated before the first glass of Albariño was tasted.

This Tasting would be a tough act to follow by the stalwarts like Jancis Robinson and Robert parker on the second and third day of the conference although they are expected to be divine in their own way and will find the hall filled up within seconds of the door opening. 

Click For Large ViewEarlier, the opening ceremony with an unscheduled but impressive appearance of dragon dancers cut into even the ‘pee time’ of most delegates who might also have been looking forward to tasting some of the finest wines organised at the tasting tables next to the seminar hall and would have to wait till today and tomorrow. There are many individual producers and groups like Gaja, Antinori, BBR, Wines from Chile, Turkey, Brazil, China, Chianti Classico, Sicily, Cotes du Rhone etc that one may enjoy.

The four panels- Wine Economics and investments, The New World Approach, New Media, New Consumer, and The Larger Scale Artisan Wines were attended by the full house without a break and were well organised. However, the time allotted was too short to have any meaningful debate or discussion. Perhaps, things may be less hectic during the day 2 and 3 on November 7 and 8.

Subhash Arora


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