February 16 2011
Saturday February 19 sees the first ever Great Spanish Fine Wine Encounter held by Decanter magazine – and not before time. The line-up of participating bodegas at the London event showcases more than 50 producers and 300 wines including some of Spain’s top names – such as Clos Mogador, Torres, Muga, Murrieta, Riscal, Rioja Alta, Palacio and CVNE. Tickets for the all-day tasting are just £40 a head or £70 a pair.
However, I would also urge you to get to the venue, the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone, bright and early to attend one of the main masterclasses. 11am might seem a tad early to be tasting wine, but when the list of wines features a vertical of two of CVNE’s top wines – its Imperial Gran Reserva from the Rioja Alta and Viña Real Gran Reserva from the Rioja Alavesa – it’s worth the extra effort and the extra £60 per ticket.
Leading the masterclass is none other than CVNE’s head winemaker, Jesús Madrazo, who will take you through five vintages of each wine right back to the 1966. Last year, I attended a similar tasting of Imperials, so I know that participants are in for quite a treat.
Alternatively, or additionally, you might want to pitch up to the masterclass with el hombre himself, John Radford, widely regarded as the Spanish wine expert. John’s topic is “Rising Spanish Stars” and features some of Iberia’s hot, up-and-coming wines from Aragón, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalunya, Galicia, Madrid, Murcia and Valencia. Two of the more unusual wines are Castell Miquel’s 2007 Stairway to Heaven and the 4 Kilos 12 Volts 2009. In other words, expect the unexpected.