WBW 50: Hiking with La Vicalanda 2001 Gran Reserva and Casa de la Ermita 2005 Petite Verdot | Catavino
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WBW 50: Hiking with La Vicalanda 2001 Gran Reserva and Casa de la Ermita 2005 Petite Verdot

First off, allow us to congratulate Lenn Thompson of Lenndevours for the 50th Anniversary of Wine Blog Wednesday, and to Russ Beebe of Winehiker for choosing such an appropriate theme for WBW #50: wine you’d go hiking with 🙂

And oh how we wish we were hiking right at this very minute. To be up in the mountains hearing the crackle of the leaves underfoot, the gentle brush of the cold wind across your cheeks, and the awe inspiring vision of the valleys sweeping down below you, while perched on a small outcropping. Sigh, I wish I could teleport us there, feeling my head on the soft, slightly wet ground staring up at the wispy clouds. But alas, we are here, in Terrassa, imagining a beautiful, relaxing day in the mountains, pondering what we would bring.

At first, we considered a light red to pair with our traditional hiking cuisine, consisting of cured Manchego cheese and a freshly baked baguette. But then we thought, “what about a big bold Spanish red that is so tightly wound, it would take hours for that bad boy to open and relax?”.

After much contemplation, we both agreed that this would be a great way to go. Pack in some fuet, a sharp Manchego and a baguette, hike for 3 to 4 hours after double decanting your bottle, and voila, you’ve got a fabulous little lunch. The only problem being, you’ve got to get back down the mountain. And as many of you know, these big ass Spanish reds pack in a fair amount of alcohol. So unless you’ve spend the entire afternoon tossing around a Frisbee, while downing a few bottles a water, you might as well curl up and take a long luxurious nap, because we highly doubt you’ll be going anywhere anytime soon.

Hmmm, anyone for a hike?!

That said, we cracked open both the 2001 Bodegas Bilbainas La Vicalanda Gran Reserva from La Rioja, made with Tempranillo, along with the 2005 Casa de la Ermita Petit Verdot. And alas, the Petit Verdot was as mild and harmless as spring doe, with gorgeous dark fruit and spice aromas. Light, elegant and delicate, we fear that this one just wouldn’t make it for a full on arduous hike. It would however, make a killer pairing for a picnic in the park, but full on backpacking adventures are just not in this wine’s future. The Bilbainas however, is a fabulous choice for a long afternoon hike. Big, bold traditional Rioja wine, it could easily age for another 5 years before we see it in its full glory. However, the caveat being that the weight of the bottle is ridiculously heavy, and would be better used as a door stop than a wine to go backpacking with.

Thanks again to winehiker for a great theme and to Lenn for surviving 50 Wine Blog Wednesdays. Hopefully, we’ll celebrate with a hike in the mountains surrounding Terrassa soon! For now though enjoy a video of our last wine hike!


Gabriella and Ryan Opaz

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  • Hey you two, We must be hardcore winehikers to want to take a bottle on the trail rather than later, after the boots are off. But I'd sure be happy to help you both get down that mountain – or at least do some of the required elbow-bending to prepare for it! 🙂 Both those wines sound like good picks, and in fact I chose a wine local to you for my WBW50 bottle! http://www.californiawinehikes.com/winehiker/1/…Thanks for participating, Ryan y Gabriella!Russ

  • Lar Veale

    Hi Ryan, never got my act together for WBW50 – I don't really do hiking, I really should I suppose. What piqued my interest was the Casa de la Ermita PV as I just opened the Reserva 2003 (Monastrell, Cab. Sauvignon and Syrah) last night (and video tasted it, cringe)Really liked it and sounds similar to the PV in “elegance and delicate”. Is that the style of the vineyard?

  • ryanopaz

    Lar, to tell you the truth most wines I've had from them have been big and jammy. This one though after we got past the initial tightness was pure fruit, and softness. Really a fun wine in the sense that you got that rich fruit character without the overly jammy quality that wines from this area usually possess. Casa de la Ermita is a bit of a legend, and their wines are usually of high caliber. Both of these were part of the Keynote tasting at the EWBC, and as I remember, enjoyed by many.

  • I go hiking really often here in the states. I do big climbs on the weekends and I take my father out for short 1-hour hikes in the early mornings (it keeps his health up and gives us time to talk).I find hiking to be a great experience, but I have never tried it with wine due to its physical demands. I figure the more hydrated I can stay, the better and as you said, you may be better off taking a nap at the top. However, I feel inspired by your story. I think I may plan an adventure with friends this weekend and try for a lunch at the top of a nearby mountain. Of course, the irony in the vineyard I work with now is that you would have to hike in order to REACH the wine. That's what you get for a mountain top vineyard such as Tin Cross.

  • Great hiking feat. I loved hiking and to add excitement, yes do backpack traveling and trekking those steep stony mountains. Thrilling isn't it?