I really love Catavino – it’s such an informative and innovative source of information on Spanish & Portuguese wines. The food of the region is key, but it’s just as vital to know about the great wines available too. This is the place to find out!
Jose Pizzaro http://www.josepizarro.com

La Cata de los Lacres 2008

Editors Note:La Cata de Los Lacres is an annual event put on by Todovino. Todovino is both a wine club and the publisher of la Guía (Spanish Only), a popular annual wine guide covering the gamut of Spanish wines currently available on the market. This is the 6th annual event, which represents a selection of wines that have received the highest rankings in ‘la Guía’ from the same year of the event. La Cata de Los Lacres is an invitation only event and hosted annually at the Palace Hotel in downtown Madrid. 32 bodegas were at this years event.

Imagine walking into a tasting room knowing that all the wines available are the best wines in their style/category. Thirty of the best, and highest quality, wines available in Spain assembled in one location for journalists, wine lovers and fellow wine makers to taste and peruse. You can agree or disagree as to which is best or worst, but in the end, the wines are not your everyday swill. Needless to say, it is a wine lover’s dream.

Two years ago, I walked into this exact same tasting with one of the worst head colds I ever have had. I was supposed to meet a wine maker to set up a visit to his winery, and unbeknownest to me, it wasn’t a coffee we would share, but a line up of wines similar to the ones I saw today. I remember choking back tears as I attempted to discern any flavor beyond bitter and dry. By the end of the day, I ran home and like a little kid teased in the school yard and cried into my pillow, not realizing in my daze that this would become an annual event for me and not a once in a lifetime opportunity.

So this year, I was happy to not only have all my senses intact, but also an entire day to spend savoring these fantastic wines. Was it a dream tasting? A moment I’ll never forget? An experience like no other? No, but it was fun. Sadly, as we all know, wines at large tastings suffer from palate fatigue and sore body parts from being on ones feet all day. Not optimal but I’m not complaining, considering that I did have a chance to taste glimpses of greatness. I took my time throughout this event; and rather than taking notes, I tasted each wine and looked for things that I thought were worth exploring further in better conditions.

Below is a list of all the wines I tasted. You’ll notice a + sign next to some of them. These are wines that I found to be special, not because they were better or worse than the others, but because they stood out in a sea of wines that honestly blew my mind. Not one wine was a total disappointment. All of these wines were amazing in one way or another but some jumped out from the rest. In part, it may be due to their uniqueness, but often I think it was due to the way they cut through a sea of similar flavors and characteristics. I do, and will, recommend all these wines. Granted, not every wine is for every person, but I know people in my life for whom each wine was made for. Like the clients in my store, not every wine, no matter how great, was made for every palate.

Cheers, Ryan

    Aalto Bodegas y Vinedos – Aalto PS 2004
    Abadia Retuerta – Pago Negralada 2004
    +Abadia Retuerta – PV 2005
    Augusta Torello – Kripta Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2002
    +An Negra Viticultors – An 2005
    +Blecua – Blecua 2004
    Bodegas Numanthia Termes – Numathia 2005
    Bodegas Alto Moncayo – Aquilon 2005
    Bodegas El Nido – El Nido 2004
    Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza – Remirez de Ganuza Reserva 2003
    Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza – Trasnocho 2004
    Bodegas Julian Chivite – Chivite Coleccion 125 Chardonnay 2005
    Bodegas Julian Chivite – Gran Feudo Blanco dulce de moscatel 2005
    +Bodegas Mauro – Terreus 2003
    Bodegas Mauro – 2004
    +Bodegas Muga – Aro 2004
    Bodegas Naia – Naia 2006
    +Bodegas Naia – Naiades 2006
    Bodegas Roda – Cirsion 2005
    Bodegas Roda – Roda 1 2004
    Bodegas Rodero – Carmelo Rodero TSM 2004
    +Bodegas Vega Sicilia – Vega Sicilia Único Gran Reserva 1998
    Bodegas y Viñedos Artadi – Viña Pisón 2005
    Bodegas y Viñedos Artadi – Pagos Viejos 2005
    Bodegas y Viñedos Valtravieso – VT Tinta Fina 2005
    Cellar Vall Llach – Vall Lach 2005
    +Clos Mogador – Clos Mogador 2005
    Clos Mogador – Manyetes 2004
    Dominio de Pingus – Pingus 2005
    Dominio de Pingus – Flor de Pingus 2003
    +Huerta de Albalá – Taberner Nº 1 2006
    Ossian Vides y Vinos – Ossian 2006
    Rafael Palacios – As Sortes 2006
    +Raventós i Blanc – Raventós i Blanc Gran Reserva de La Finca Brut 2003
    +Sierra Cantabria – Finca el Bosque 2005
    Viñedos de Páganos – La Nieta 2005
    Viñedos del Contino – Contino Viña del Olivo 2005

Finally a very short slideshow of a few personalities at the event. If you click through to flickr you can see who is who!

  • Andrew

    what an amazing tasting – must admit to being more than a little envious!

  • http://www.spittoon.biz Andrew

    what an amazing tasting – must admit to being more than a little envious!