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Victor de la Serna

Tag Archives: Syrah

Wines for Spring Part 1: The Reds

The northeast US has just had yet another blizzard with up to or over a foot of snow in some places; here in London the temperature hovers around 0°C and the rest of Europe, except perhaps Greece, seems also to be caught in the relentless clutches of winter. However, it is March. Therefore spring is, although perhaps not quite ‘in the air’, it is at least ‘around the corner’ so with the eternal optimism of any devout wine lover, I am hopeful that one day soon the cold will alleviate and spring will in fact, arrive. And when it does, I plan to have my ‘wines for spring’ at the ready! During the winter months we cozy up to the […]

Petit Comité: A Fair Dedicated to Artisanal Wines in Madrid

On Monday night I had the pleasure of attending Petit Comité, a tasting event for artisanal wines organized by Samuel Cano/Vinos Patio, La Cave du Petit Bar degustación and the Observatorio de Vino. Not only was it an incredibly interesting opportunity to try the natural wines made by 6 different winemakers, but it was also heartening to have the chance to talk one-on-one with such enthusiastic individuals, who are obviously very dedicated to preserving the artisanal quality of their wines. Representing four different areas of Spain (Madrid, La Mancha, Cataluña and Ribera del Duero), the maximum number of bottles (of natural wine) produced by any of these wineries was 25,000.  While I am a huge supporter of organic wines, I […]

The Essential Difference Between DO de Pago and Grandes Pagos de España

Editor’s Note: DO de Pago and Grandes Pagos de España can be easily confused, but as Louis Villard of found out at a recent tasting, the two are fighting similar causes, yet are altogether different. One of the only things that links the DO de Pago and Grandes Pago de Espana is the word Pago; and to be a Pago, one must make a wine from estate grown grapes. The somewhat controversial DO de Pago is the official term used for Spain’s highest level of classification. As of now there are only nine vineyards with the classification. DO de Pago became official in 2003 and the only two regions to have ratified it are Castilla La-Mancha and Navarra. It’s […]

Harvesting in the Priorat 2009: Differentiating Grape Varieties

A friend of ours Raymond Magourty (Raymondo) is working the 2009 harvest in Priorat, Catalunya for Celler Mas Doix, a prestigious wine producer located in the villlage of Poboleda who’s Parker Points have elevated it in popularity. With his background in wine education, and ambition to learn more about the practicalities of wine-making, the winery employed him as ‘bodeguero’ during the harvest. Raymondo will continue chiming in for the remainder of the harvest! You can also read about his experience at the start of the harvest, visiting local wine festivals, the uncommon debate of when to pick the grapes and barrel topping, and the theory of Unnatural Selection. 10th October The day’s fly by during a hectic harvest. We start […]

Lavinyeta in DO Emporda: A Very Non-Spanish, Spanish Bodega

Approximately a week ago, we tasted the 2006 Llavors from a winery in DO Emporda called Lavinyeta. Ryan bought it from a small wine shop in the coastal town of Estartit a month prior, while I was out biking the dirt trails; yet neither of us knew a lick about it, other  than it was local, had a fabulous black and white label with a map of the region, and was in our price range. The winery is located in the small town of Mollet de Peralada, and to date, we’ve only had the pleasure of tasting one of their wines. In 2002, the family bought the land with little more than 2 hectares of 50-70 year old samso and […]

Does a Perfect Wine Glass Exist for an Iberian Wine, Or at Least a Montsant Wine?

Yesterday, I had the very  rare opportunity to attend my first wine glass tasting hosted by DO Montsant and  George Riedel of the legendary Riedel glass company. And despite the inference that I spent my morning licking a series of wine glasses, the truth, albeit slightly less exotic, was equally as entertaining. As we have discussed with you in our previous article, we have recently learned that Montsant wines are very unique in their style. High in both acidity and tannin, which expresses their beautiful earthy, dark fruit and mineral composition, these wines generally call for a larger wine glass. But like many wine regions, DO Montsant was seeking for the “perfect” glass to fully express their wines. But how […]

Wine of the Week – Fitapreta Vinhos

There is no way I can start this post without sharing my elation that my hand is free to type. For those of you who are not in the know, I have been in a cast for exactly 78 days, as reminded to me by my doctor this morning. But now, my cast is gone, and from its hard powdery depths springs a hand that is dying for some sun, a splash in the sea and the ability to type at lightening speed without hearing “clunk” “clunk” every time my plaster thumb hit the space bar. Ahhh, life is officially good. So getting back to today’s topic, our featured wines of the week consists of a big, bold Portuguese wine […]

Bodega Profile – Cortes de Cima – Alentejo

Last Tuesday, during a very hectic and busy day tasting wines, we had scheduled a lunch with Cortes de Cima, a winery located in the Alentejo. And typically, when you schedule a lunch like this, you are met with an export manager who is so professional that each crease and fold is perfectly starched and ironed without a wrinkle to be seen. Trust me, I’ve looked. But today was different. What stood before us shaking our hand was one of the winemaker’s of Cortes de Cima, António Cláudio. António is a large man, standing 6 feet tall with broad shoulders, curly black hair and a sweet boyish smile.

Our Visit to DO Montsant and the Spanish Bodega – Laurona

Approximately a year and half ago, Ryan and I made a quick jaunt down to the Priorat to visit Bodegas Ficariavins before heading north to attend Alimentaria in Barcelona. Our trip was short, lasting only two days, but the crash course in Priorat and Montsant wines gave me the necessary foundation I needed before our second visit last week with Tim from Winecast.

Iberamerica Wine Tasting

July 1st means the last day to submit my entry to Joan Gómez Pallarès’s Iberamerica Wine Tasting on his blog, Devinis. He asked us all to select one monovarietal red wine that is characteristic of my region that is valued under 15 Euros, or 20 Dollars. Being a little ill at the moment after taking 54 excited and overly energetic five-year olds up into the Pyrenees for a 3 day mountain adventure, my ability to go the distance and find a monovarietal wine made with native grapes from the Penedes, such as Garnacha, Cariñena or Samsó was unfortunately, not an option. So, instead, I decided to roll the dice and go with the 2005 Eos d Loxarel, an organic Syrah […]