Sánchez Romate “Marismeño” Fino

Sánchez Romate “Marismeño” Fino

Its good summer's day in Melbourne today, not too hot, but sunny.  Perfect for fino.  Well any day is a good day for sherry really.  So out came the olives, jamon, white anchovies and a bottle of fino for lunch today.  Now this is living… 

Almonds, apples, honeysuckle, orange blossom, and yeasty flor character.  Tangy and fresh in the mouth with a slice of acid that really cleans the palate.  A lingering finish with sea spray and anise.  Almonds, tangy flor and a touch a anise and lemon peel on the palate.  Great with snacky cured meats and fish.  92 Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $30 (750ml) Closure: Cork Stopper

Web: www.romate.com


Capcanes Lasandal 2005

Capcanes Lasandal 2005

This is a real go to wine, its great drinking shows real character and doesn't break the bank.  The 2005 is the best to date and has a great mix of flavours and is just serious enough for your wine geek mates to be impressed, but not too serious or expensive for the non-wine geek to get into. 

Coffee, earthy raspberry, a touch of mint, hot rocks. Smooth and supple in the mouth, balanced and savoury with a tart fruit finish. Good concentration. Sour cherries and raspberries on the palate with sage and other mountain herbs and roasted meat juices. Some sappy plums and white pepper from the syrah. You can almost taste the hot summer days in the quality of the fruit. Light dusty tannins show up on the finish. A joy to drink. 91 Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition RRP: $35 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.cellercapcanes.com

Other Vintages: 2000, 2004

Quinta do Vallado 2005

I had a bottle of this wine back in September, at the time I loved the nose but thought the palate was a bit flat. This time around I had the wine in a blind line-up of 3 bottles to see if anything had changed. This is my note and score from the tasting.

Deep red with a purple tint.  Aromas of burnt rocks, coffee, violets and plums, pepper and spice. Sars and rosella fruit(hibiscus flower). Sweet, ripe fruit with plenty of pepper.  Plum and cherry, chistmas cake spices.  Light, fluffy tannins, a lick of good acid.  Quite tight and focused, a bit pez on the finish.  91 Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $35 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.quintadovallado.com

Other Vintages: 2005 


Telmo Rodriguez Lanzaga 2004

Telmo Rodriguez Lanzaga 2004

These 2004s from Telmo Rodriguez are looking great at the moment, and the excellent 2005s are not too far away. The oak treatment throughout the range is really well handled and the fruit just sings.  Whats not to like about that that?

Smokey earth with bright red cherry, mulberry, undergrowth and a touch of coffee. Really nice balance, with plenty of dusty tannins.  A bit tight, but showing all the classic Rioja characters of cherry, mulberry, pepper, a touch of chocolate and cinnamon.  The oak treatment is just right. A long finish completes the package.  A good decant will get you moving, but you really should stick this somewhere dark for a couple of years, then drink over the following 10.  92+ Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition RRP: $55 Closure: Conventional Cork

Other vintages: 2003

Palacios Remondo Propiedad 2005

Palacios Remondo Propiedad 2005

So, back to business.  Well, drinking actually.  I've been lucky enough to have a look at this wine twice in the last two weeks, a full bottle last weekend and another taste yesterday.  The wines from Palcios Remondo seemed to have moved into a very serious mould.  Both this wine and La Montesa are pretty serious wines from the 2005 vintage the need some chill out time in the cellar.  I double decanted the full bottle and drank it over 5 hours.  Of course the last glass was the best.

A classic nose of earthy undergrowth, cherry, raspberry, spice, mocha and pepper. Showing its youth at the moment, but showing loads of potential.  Very tight it gives up some nice tannins and a spike of acid. On the palate its very primary: mulberry, cherry, and raspberry with some dried herbs.  One for the cellar, but it will open up to be a beauty in a couple of years..  92+ Pts. 

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Cost: Around $55 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.vinosherenciaremondo.com

Other Vintages: 2001, 2003, 2004

More to come

Things are a bit slow this time of year, but not to worry I'm still here drinking Spanish wine.  i kicked the year off with a 40 wine  tasting yesterday afternoon, but the tasting pile is empty at the moment. I've got some new stuff on the way, plus a few cellar dwellers ready for tasting over the next couple of weeks. I plan to do a bit more food this year too, I've just posted my highly coveted paella (or arroz) recipe and its perfect to cook outside while downing some good rosado..

My camera has suffered a bit over the break, a bit too much travel and old age has forced an early retirement.  So there will be no new pictures for a week or so until the new one turns up.  I expect the quality of the photos to increase hugely, so stay tuned.

Arroz con zumo de naranja

Paella is the term that many of us use for any Spanish rice dish cooked in a paella pan.  But the Spanish can be picky on how they use it, some don’t care but others maintain that only the rice dish from Valencia can use the name Paella.  This dish is a bit left of centre, so I’ve gone with arroz con zumo de naranja for this one.

I picked up the recipe in Seville. Apparently its something people cook at home for lunch, rather than something you would see in a restaurant.  There is no seafood in this dish, but of course can add some on top if you want.  The city is famous for bitter or tart oranges and this is one way to use them up, the other is marmalade.  Traditionally, they use rabbit instead of chicken and add snails towards the end of the cooking.  The end result is a very savoury  dish.  Don’t over do the meat etc, they are a highlight, not the main dish.  The quantities used here are for a four person paella pan, add or subtract to get the right amount for your pan.

You will need:

  • 1 Chorizo (chopped in to slices)
  • 250g Pork belly (chopped into smallish bits)
  • 4 Chicken wings
  • 1 Green capsicum
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1.5 cups of tart orange juice (no added sugar with pulp or from Seville oranges)
  • 1 cup Calasparra rice
  • 1 tin of piquillo pimentos
  • 1 Paella pan



  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon rosemary
  • 5 Black pepper corns
  • a touch of salt
  • 4 strands of saffron
  • 1.5 teaspoons smoke paprika

What to do:


Get prepared and set up the flavour base:

  1. cut up the meat into small pieces, mince the onion and cut up the capsicum in small squares.
  2. put the orange juice and stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Reduce to a simmer until needed.
  3. add some oil and fry the garlic on low heat in the pan and remove.  Dry off in paper towel.  Put in mortar with the seasoning and grind up.
  4. fry the onion and capsicum lightly and remove from the pan
  5. quickly seal the meat in the pan and remove.

Start the real cooking:

  1. add the stock/juice mixture to the pan and get it boiling.
  2. add the rice, meat, veg and seasoning/garlic mix to the pan. And stir around to mix everything up.
  3. Do not do anything but watch the liquid level and test the softness of the rice until the rice is soft.  You might need to add some extra liquid, but make sure you add it hot.
  4. when the rice is about 75% cooked (still a little crunchy) remove from the heat and cover with a tea towel for 10 minutes.
  5. White you are waiting, slice the pimento into long strips.  Once the 10 minutes are up, get artistic and arrange the strips on top of the paella.  You can also use orange slices if you want.