monti otoño 2013

monti otoño 2013

Los mandarines y pontífices, la crítica gastronómica y la Red

Llevo en pocas semanas leídos ya media docena de descalificaciones, repletas de improperios, a la crítica, o simple opinión, gastronómica en la Red. Todas ellas de reconocidos comentaristas de los medios escritos de comunicación, algunos incluso críticos (en alguna ocasión). Alguno, incluso autor de meritorios Anuarios.

Es sorprendente el papel que puede deducirse que se pretenden arrogar: el de interpretes únicos de qué está bien y de qué no en el arte del buen comer y mejor beber. Como si el maltrato recibido en un restaurante o su deficiente calidad, nunca reseñados por ellos porque nunca lo sufriran por ser quienes son, no justificara un desahogo. Más: como si el lector de los mismos en alguna red fuera un subnormal incapaz de enterderlo como tal.

Ello además de otro elemento relevante que transcribo de alguien que sabe mucho más que yo aunque esté referido a la Red en general pero es de aplicación: "se echa de menos en su panorama algo más de acento en la vertiente creativa de la Red, que sin duda es importante. Hay gentes, que nunca habrían accedido a publicar en las ágoras que controlan los mandarines de la cultura y el mercado, que ahora publican y con mérito. Y si alguno lo hace por exhibirse es con el mismo derecho que tienen a exhibirse los pontífices de la opinión". Pues eso.

sábado, 20 de octubre de 2012

Red wines of Valencia. Quality improved, variety not so much.


As I stated in my previous comment about Valencia white wines, reds from Valencia Community have high quality even though only a very few of them are known outside the region.  

They begin to share, however, two common defects of new Spanish emerging wine regions (except Murcia). The first is the price of some simply astronomical given the hard competition they faced. In my opinion today, and without exception, is excessive to sell a bottle of Valencia for more than 25 euros (not only in the case of Valencia´s wines). The only exceptions I am prepare to deal with are a few Riojas and some Riberas. That means nothing in relation with their value, which is, en general, high. It‘s simply that as said in Spain “todo necio, todo necio, confunde valor y precio”. Priorato is whitout doubt the oustanding example of this crazy policy of selling good wines at a excessive price: not surprisingly quite a few new wineries have  been closed. 

And secondly, a lot of them taste exactly like each other. It is especially true, in my view, in the Monastrell’s varietals, but not only. Monastrell is the grape some want to transform in the brand image of Valencia Community red wines. Others prefer Bobal a more bold and potent grape, with a color near to black. It seems to work the assumption that if Chile tries to consolidate the Carmenere and Argentina the Malbec, here it should be Monastrell. For me it is a curious grape, with plenty of flavor, sometimes sweet, but it is not among my favorites. 

If I have to choose (with permission of the subtle new Grenaches being developed right now in some parts of Spain) I prefer Pinot Noir or, more than anything, a good blend. In Pinot Noir Pfalz has all the advantages (better soils and less sun). But foremost good wines are good wines made with good grapes. In fact some Valencia Cabernets are very goog and quite well elaborated. Ans the same can be said about some Shiraz.

The wines form Valencia (D.O. Valencia, D.O. Requena Utiel and D.O. Alicante with others with no D.O.) are in general more in the line of the French Cotes du Rhone or Sud Ouest than Bordeaux or Bourgogne. So, most of them are powerful, with high alcohol content, but with a long persistence and very rich flavor. 

To the nose I am unable to detect this aromas described by experts but it’s a pleasure to smell them. I recommend decanting all of them at least one hour before drinking but experts don’t agree with my opinion. And please don’t be wrong: the following list is just a small one of the possible. Other good wines are not mentioned just in order to keep the list short and readable.

The very best
Curro 2009. Bodega Bodega Navarro. DO Alicante. 70% Monastrell and 30% Tempranillo. A brilliant wine that demonstrates the potential of the Monastrell well blended and very well elaborated. A wine with character and very good finish. Aged in French oak barrels for 16 months. For my palate it is possibly the best wine right now in the Valencia market.  But I have to admit that is the last one I have tastes and that can influence my evaluation. It’s only two flaws: it is not easy to find outside the Alicante area and the price I've seen on the Internet is high for asking a bottle at a restaurant (give the price they charge for wines most of them).

Santa Rosa 2008. Bodega Enrique Mendoza. D. O. Alicante. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Shiraz. Enrique Mendoza Winery has been the pioneer in the fight for quality in the wine region sector. Santa Rosa is it's best wine. Very well elaborated, and less powerful than its competitors,  it is still complex, medium-bodied (in comparative terms), rich in aroma and pleasant to drink. Is well known, and some of us prefer to look for something newer, but is a good wine.  Has 17 months in French oak barrels (Allier and Nevers) and 40 days in American oak barrels. It’s the sure bet if you don’t have prior knowledge of Valencia wines (and you want to taste them).

The unfindables (if the word exists: if not untraceable)

Sentencia. 2009. Bodegas Sentencia (Requena). Without D.O. (75% Bobal, 20% grenache, syrah 3-4%. Bobal and old Grenache. An excellent wine but less than the previous vintage an experimental blend, which was absolutely spectacular. Dispatched primarily for restaurants, this commercial policy makes not very easy to understand make ot hard in shops. In addition some shops which sell it mark an excessive price, next to  30 €. Shame: not enough value for yours bucks given the alternatives in the market. But if you find it in the wine list (and the price is right) do not hesitate to ask for a bottle. I am sure you will never regret the decision.

Obscur, 2008, Vins the Ponent, D.O. Valencia. A blend of 25% Monastrell, aged in French oaks, 25% Mourvedre aged in Hungarian oaks and 50% Marselan aged in French oak. Another wine hard to find in shops, though less than the last one. You can find it especially in the area of La Safor County on where lives its soul: Joan Calatayud, perhaps the valencian wine lover with better knowledge of French viticulture. Obscur is a different Valencia red which is a point to appreciate when too many are too similar. It has some mineral notes and specially a freshness not common in Valencia reds. Also, a little bit overpriced in shops outside La Safor.

Good value for your euros

Angosto Los Almendros 2010 - Bodegas El Angosto. DO Valencia Garnacha Tintorera, Shiraz, and Marselan. Some wine consumers consider this one the best wine to drink with a dish of Valencia rice. From my point of view it’s too strong for it but it, but still is a very well elaborated wine.  Perhaps one of the most appreciate Valencia wines today. But for less than 9 euros (in shops) is hard to find wines so well elaborated at this price (in Spain).

El Megala  2009 Bodegas Enguera.   D.O. Valencia, A red more than acceptable at a great price. It's another good example that the blend of Monastrell, in this case with 50% Shiraz, can give better results than a 100% wine just of the first. With 14 months of aging in French oak, the wine is soft and round. In short: has an enviable quality and also a great price (less than 10 €). Unfortunately the 2009 has much less  persistence  than previous vintages. But this can be seen as an advantage is one is used to less potent wines.




Una cerveza valenciana excelente
El Tsunami de la cerveza artesana es imparable y algunas de ellas son , además, excelentes. Gramm prima es una de éstas. Y además de tener una excelente elaboración es ligeramente diferente a la mayoría. No demasiado, por desgracia, pero si algo que tal y como está el patio es mucho. Ello con su precio competitivo la hace muy recomendable. 

Porque parece que algunos no se percatan de que la oferta procedente de otras zonas de España ya está aquí, a través de internet, y sus precios a pesar de tener que pagar tranporte, es inferior. Cuidado pues no se vaya a asesinar a la gallina de los huevos de oro (para algunos elaboradores).

Cerró la tienda de vinos de Rías Gallegas.
Dos años después de abrirse ha cerrado sus puertas la Vinoteca Rías Gallegas, un pequeño local situado detrás del tramo final  de  la calle Pardo de Bazán. Una lástima porque algunos de vinos no son fáciles de encontrar y sus precios eran muy aceptables. Otra víctima de la crisis pero quizá también de la falta de difusión de su existencia.

2 comentarios :

  1. No se entiende por qué estos vinos y no otros. No hay criterio de selección ni explicación de nada. Así el que al que le de la gana hace una lista, pero de cien o doscientos vinos, pues lo tiene fácil.

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  2. Gracias por su tiempo. Tiene parte de razón porque toda selección es un criterio subjetivo que se puede no compartir. Sí, en mi modesta opinión, hay un criterio de selección: los que parecen mejores. Si no hubiera elegido otros. Quise seleccionar un número reducido y elegí éstos frente a otros. Subjetivo, sin duda. Respetable, creo que también. Y desde luego no encontraría cien vinos valencianos para recomendar. Y menos doscientos.¡ójala!

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