The Codorniu tasting was a long one. First the sparkling and then the still wines. I have to admit that after all those sparklings, I was beginning to get a bit tipsy, especially since this was an informal tasting session after work.
But I soldiered on and sampled the wines of Raimat which is the still wine arm of Codorniu. A bit of background on Raimat. They are one of Spain's most progressive winemakers today. Two years ago they brought in a whole new winemaking team and are using the latest technological advances to produce top quality wines. They even go so far as to do satellite mapping of their vineyards to analyze the soil. Raimat Abadia has been repackaged for 2008 to reflect all the new advances being made at Raimat. The vineyards are based in NE Spain, DO Costers del Segre in Catalunya. Their tagline is "Spanish wines beyond Rioja" and I think that they've proved that Spain has a lot more to offer then tempranillo.
First up was the Raimat Abadia Crianza 2005. A blend of Cab. Sauv., Merlot and Tempranillo, aged 10 months in American oak and then a further 6 months in French. On the nose, aromas of plum and stewed fruits, a bit of spice and toast. A lovely medium bodied wine with more of those plummy fruits and hints of sweet spice and chocolate once I'd swished it around my mouth. I liked this wine, easy on it's own or with a meal.
The next two wines were whites. The Raimat Abadia Blanc de blanc 07, a blend of chardonnay and albarino. Albarino is unusual for this part of Spain as most of it is grown in the northwest, around Galicia. On pouring, aromas of tropical fruit and what I can only describe as pineapple pie hit me on my nose. This medium bodied wine had loads of pineapple flavours and hints of grapefruit on the finish. Very refreshing and I could imagine drinking it with a plateful of fresh seafood.
The last wine was a revelation. A 100% Albarino, the first single varietal Albarino to be produced outside of Galicia, or so the promo material said. The first surprise was how full-bodied it was, usually I think of albarinos as being light and zippy. This one was still fresh and fruity but we all agreed that it had something more. There was a lot more then just citrusy aromas on the nose. Throw in dried flowers, spice and vanilla. It was almost like sniffing on a bowl of potpurri but not sickly sweet, maybe more like sniffing a bowl that had once held potpurri many years ago. Anyway, the same followed thru on the palate with hints of dried fruit and a nice citrus finish. It was a quite full and round, not as crisp as I'd expected but still a new and interesting example of what can be done with Albarino. It won unanimous approval and not just because the rather sexy winemaker was sitting amongst us.
These wines are all retailing for under £8 which I think is a fair price.