The Spanish Wine Group TERRAS GAUDA has launched several new wines on the Irish market and they kindly sent me a few bottles to sample. I really love my wine but I would never pretend to be a connoisseur. If it tastes good, that to me, is the most important quality. And these tasted great!
So here is my first ever wine review. I hope you enjoy reading it, as much as I did testing for it!!
The Vineyards of the Terras Gauda estate lie in the O Rosal valley, close to the mouth of the river Miño in the A Guarda area. This is north-western Spain, only a few miles from the border with Portugal. The vineyards, which are between 50 and 150 metres above sea level, enjoy an exceptional micro-climate characterised by mild temperatures, with an annual average of 15°C, very little frost and abundant rainfall (sounds like Cavan!) The micro-climate is ideal for ripening the grapes with a high sugar content and a lower acidity level than in other parts of the Rías Baixas designation of origin area that lie further to the north.
|Click here for the Terras Gauda website|
|La Mar 2009|
First up is this wonderful La Mar 2009. Made from a mix of Caino Blanco grapes 85% which is a native variety from O Rosal area (and was virtually extinct) and Albariño grapes 15%. This distinctly unique wine is the first ever to be produced almost entirely from the indigenous Caino Blanco grape. This is a bold and determined white wine that carries itself with the dignity of someone who knows their capabilities! Initially sweet to taste, it develops a bite, that then mellows and leaves you with a ripe fruity pleasure on the tongue. There are fine smells of cut grass, mango and balsamic and even a touch of pine forest! It finishes with a ripe peachy-tasting tingle (as I reach for another glass!) Alcohol strength 12.5%.
|La Prohibicion 2006|
La Prohibicion 2006 is a superb red wine from the Terras Gauda stable, made from a grape mix of 60% Garnacha Tintorera and 40% Mencía. It is a fragrant, seductive wine with a fruity nose, hints of rich sunblushed cherries and wee touches of herbs & spices. We shared this over some grilled lamb cutlets and found it perfectly well balanced for red meats and yet a brave enough wine to enjoy on its own standing. It is one of the tastiest red wines I’ve ever had and that’s the truth! Alcohol strength 14%.
|Pittacum Barrica 2007|
This Pittacum Barrica 2007 is simply divine! A rich plummy coloured red, this wine is very decadent and deserves to be drank with your very best friend! Made with 100% Mencía grapes, there are tastes of raspberries and cherries and chocolate in it and you can almost feel each flavour wash separately over your tongue. And after all that, it finishes with a sort of vanilla-toffee taste that reminds me of baileys & brown bread ice-cream. Delicious! Alcohol strength 14.5%.
|Terras Gauda O Rosal|
The Terras Gauda O Rosal is considered the flagship wine of the winery and it certainly stood up to its reputation. Made from grapes native to the region they blend Albarino 70%, Loureira 20% and Caino Blanco 10% to create a wonderfully crisp and well-rounded white wine. Actually it is more of a greenish-yellow in colour but it is just perfect for a seafood barbecue. We could taste something that resembles that smell you get when you’re peeling a ripe & juicy orange, crossed with homemade apple & cinnamon tart with honey drizzled on it! A fresh clean lip-smacking bite finished of the drink. Alcohol strength 12.5%.
|Pittacum Aurea 2007|
Next out of my sampling box was this tasty wee number. Pittacum Aurea 2007 is a limited production run of only 950 cases making this one of the more expensive of my lot, retailing at around the “35 mark. But again it is a very impressive red wine from the Terras Gauda group and it’s also made with 100% Mencia grapes grown on the estate. Due to it’s altitude location they can harvest these grapes up to a month earlier than the rest of the region and this helps give the wine its unique flavour. This wine is oak aged for 20 months. It has good fruity flavours of strawberry and plum or maybe cherry and has a light spicy edge to it also. We tasted it with Bellingham blue cheese and some of my venison pate and they worked great together. It was recommended that the wine be decanted and the extra oxygen mix certainly did help release some wonderful aromas in the wine. Definitely a wine for an extra special guest! Alcohol strength 14.5%.
|Abadia de San Campio 2010|
This white from Terras Gauda is called Abadia de San Campio 2010. Look out for it over the summer because this wine was simply a fruity, bright, cold, aromatic, tasty bottle of ripened and fermented 100% Albarino grapes. We sat in the garden and drank this bottle on one of the hottest days of the year so far and wished we had three more! A very bright and clear wine, it smelled lovely even as it was just popped and even better once it was poured. Maybe it’s only my imagination, but I believe in pouring wine into a glass with gusto, to get more air moving through it and open up all those delicious juicy perfumes – none of this balancing it on the tips of your fingers and thumbs stuff that you see young waiters just out of college doing! This wine would be great with shellfish or crab salad or any fresh seafood probably. The little crisp edge as it washes down your throat reminded me of an apple called a Kerry Pippen that one of my aunties used to grow. We loved it. Alcohol strength 12.5%.
|Quinta Sardonia 2007|
As with when you’re coming up with any new recipe, it takes several times tested and tried to get the perfect balance of ingredients and flavours. The work has proved well worth it for this very adult red wine, the Quinta Sardonia 2007. Made with a variety of grapes with 52% Tinto Fino and 26% Cabernet Sauvignon along with Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, the winery has produced a very fine mature wine that drinks well. A deep reddish-purple wine full of aromas, it tastes of blackberries and plumbs with a gorgeous black peppery feel on the lips. The wine is clarified with egg whites, in the same way you make a traditional Consommé and aged for sixteen months in oak barrels before bottling. There is a great range of flavours in this luscious red – I even got a little taste of old fashioned strong tea somewhere towards the end of my generous sips!
It was recommended to open this wine two hours before drinking to open up the aromas, so I poured it into a decanter as I didn’t think much air would get down that narrow neck! Certainly a red wine that can stand proudly among the many other excellent wines available today. Alcohol strength 15%.
And there you have it. My first ever review of some wines and I think I was very lucky to get such a superb selection to start with!
Thanks to the guys at Terras Gauda for the wine. These wines are distributed in Ireland by:
GHS CLASSIC DRINKS, LTD.Steve Dwyer
Unit 5 OC CommercialPark, Little Island, Cork.
Tel: 00 353 21451 0066