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Victor de la Serna

Tag Archives: Tasting note

A Couple of Wine Notes – Montau de Sadurní

Recently, Ryan and I were inspired by both Lenndevours and Spittoon, two wine blogs on either side of the vast Pacific Atlantic, for creating simple and straight-forward articles on wines they’ve tasted, and at times, just haven’t had the opportunity to share with others. Due to a large quantity wine notes slowly slipping through the cracks and not seeing the light of day, we’ve decided to follow suit, by also sharing wines we’ve tasted, despite the fact that we may not have visited either the winery or the region. Consider these little breathers away from our normal mammoth-sized educational posts. When possible, we’ll try to include some information on the wines availability and any relevant facts that came through in […]

Winery of the Week – Chozas Carrascal

A few months ago, we made a trip down south to Utiel-Requena to experience the harvest in full swing. With the autumn light streaming across the vines with hints of seasonal color change on the tips of the leaves, it was a beautiful site to experience. However, despite our desire to publish this article earlier, life got the best of us and delayed our report until now – better late than never. Chozos Carrascal is located on a 30 hectar estate, 700 meters above sea-level, in the small town of San Antonio in Requena, Valencia. The etymology of the winery name is rather obscure. Chozas is the nickname of the owner’s grandfather, a common tradition given to most people in […]

Wine of the Week – Herdade da Malhadinha Nova 2006

It’s been a month and a half since the European Wine Blogger’s Conference, and shamefully, we’re just now getting around to not only retasting many of these wines, but simply entering our notes on the numerous great wines we tasted. Today, I want to point out a wine that I think is starting to mature gracefully and is worth your attention. In 2006, I visited Herdade Malhadinha, while still in a learning phase regarding Alentejo wines. My palate was exercising itself to include a whole ranging of grapes and flavors I wasn’t used to. It was at Malhadinha that I first realized the great potential of the Alicante Bouschet grape having tasted a wine that was vibrant and alive after […]

Wine of the Week: Sybarus Tardana 2007

If you’ve stayed with Catavino for long enough, it’s inevitable that you’ve heard us debate over the exact number of indigenous grapes in Iberia, and the fact that none of us are certain how many there are.  By some accounts there are approximately 400, and by other accounts, the number soars to over 1,000. This rather large numerical gap was one of the main reasons why we began our Iberian Grape Wiki (currently in a state of renovation), and the same reason why we’ve done very little with it. To keep track, fill in, and monitor such a bear of a database is rather daunting. So it sits, patiently waiting for some loving grape enthusiast to come by and fill […]

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 […]

Wine of the Week – Bodegas Castro Martin

Editors note: Starting today, we will be highlighting an Iberian wine, or winery, every Friday. It may cover a single one, a project or a winery. We’ll try, in most cases, to choose wines that are widely distributed, but this will not always be possible. Hope you enjoy. About a year and half ago, I stumbled across a wine website that had a link to an Iberian winery blog. Clicking the link, I was taken to a page with about three posts and no comments enabled. At the time, there were approximately three other winery blogs out there, and I was excited to see another pop up. However, this “blog” didn’t allow comments. Thus, in my world, it wasn’t a […]

Catavino Does NOT Sell Wine…and A Very Biased Wine Review

Time to clear a few things up here at This past week, we have received some emails that need to be addressed, and we think the only place to do it is here on our site. Lately, we’ve been receiving some odd emails. Evidently, there is a rumor circulating that Catavino is a winery/bodega. You see, this week I’ve received at least 5 emails from different countries, including the USA, asking to represent our wines in restaurants, export markets and country wide in the case of Canada. Being a couple of wine writers without a winery, nor with any connection to the wine making process, I’m not sure where this idea has come from. I have to say we’re […]

Wine, Books, Conferences, and the 2008 Vintage

It’s crunch time here at the Spanish office of the European Wine Bloggers Conference. Every day a new issue, a new question, and the realization that we forgot to do something! That combined with a now ever expanding desire from non-delegates to join the already full ranks, is leading to us working long hours and wondering how we keep Catavino alive. All that said, we are having fun and learning a lot. The best part though is that this conference looks to be shaping up nicely and will lead to some new conversations that need starting. I’m sure the US based conference 2 months later will also lead to great new opportunities too, and we hope that both prove to […]

Casa Montaña, a Fantastic Wine Bar Hidden in the Shadows of Valencia

There are bars and there are great, secret gems well worth going out of your way to experience. In the city of Valencia, Casa Montaña happens to be one of those incredible finds completely saturated in both history and beauty. If left to our own devices, however, we would have never have found this bar, as it’s tucked away between Puerto de Valencia and Mercado Cabanal in a tiny residential street in the area of “El Cabañal”. But because our trusted guide, Joantxo Llantada , just so happened to be the head of tourism for the regional government of Valencia, we were clearly in good hands, able to both learn about the Valencian culture and cuisine over the course of […]

Another Iberian Winery Sent to the Sidebar – Cortes de Cima

Today we are proud to announce another winery who will no longer be covered here at Catavino. Back in March, Carrie Jorgensen, one of the owners of Cortes de Cima, approached Catavino to assist them in creating a blog. Naturally, we were interested, as we like to help all wineries enter into this social arena; but beyond that, we were excited to be able to work with a client who in Portugal is known for its rebellious nature and tendency to stir things up a bit. Not to mention, that they are probably one of the top rated wineries in Portugal as a whole. Clearly, we were both honored and humbled to be of service. Ryan first tasted their wines […]