By FRÉDÉRIC GALTIER
A ‘Grand Tasting‘ was held by Robert Parker (right) from 6 to 8 pm on Nov. 12 at WineFuture Rioja’09 in Logroño, Spain. It included a selection of Grenache (Garnacha in Spanish), i-e made with at least 90% Grenache, (with the exception of two Rioja), from around the world.
Some wondered why Parker had not chosen Tempranillo since the conference was being held in Rioja and he responded that unlike Grenache which is successfully produced in many countries, there were not enough good non-Spanish Tempranillos to garantee an international tasting: “I have chosen to hold the tasting with twenty wines of Garnacha from around the globe as it is one of the most interesting varieties, and also because Spain is the cradle of this grape” he said.
The tasting session comprised 7 wines from France—Châteauneuf-du-Pape exclusively; 7 from Spain—2 from Rioja; 2 from California; and 4 from Australia.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend this outstanding Parker Grand Tasting while in Logroño for the purpose of my Desembolic reports. Installed in Barcelona since 2005 as a journalist, I specialize in Spanish wines, contributing to many wine focusing media.
One after another Parker tasted the 20 wines that he had personally selected one after another in front of an audience of 530, invited as speakers and sponsors or having paid a €600+ entrance fee. Under the supervision of Bruno Murciano, winner of the Best Sommelier 2008 in Spain, 20 sommeliers in charge of opening, tasting and serving the 600 bottles presented, poured the wines into 10,700 glasses.
Here are quoted Parker’s impressions and explanations from The Wine Advocate, followed by mine.
FRANCE — Châteauneuf-du-Pape
1. Domaine Charvin 2007 : “Superb 2007 displaying a personality reminiscent of a hypothetical blend of his 1990 and 1998… It exhibits a deep ruby/purple color as well as a sumptuous bouquet of black raspberries, kirsch liqueur, and subtle notions of underbrush and nori seaweed wrapper. Rayas-like in its ethereal richness, length, and texture with a sense of lightness despite its weight, this beauty possesses superb purity, equilibrium, texture and elegance. Some serious tannins are lurking behind all the fruit, so this 2007 will benefit from 2-4 years of cellaring. It will drink beautifully for 15-18 years. 94-96+ out of 100“
— Frédéric Galtier: rather classical aromatic Provence style — rasperry and kirsch flavoured. Ample and corpulent, staying svelte, with much litheness and elegance. (suite…)