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© John Farren

Meeting 428 - -"A Spanish Tour with a Mutant"

Friday 18th October 2019     Neville Hall, Waltham St Lawrence 

Speaker:  Paul Fritz-Johnson (Welch & Co)  

       Paul Fritz-Johnson began his professional life in the field of Applied Chemistry, where he studied Oil Tribology with Shell. More recently he has, as he says, "shifted careers from one form of lubrication to another" and is now one of the partners of Welch & Co Wine Merchants, based at Fulscot Manor in Oxfordshire. His wines for the evening were based on a tour of Spain he made 3 years ago.
       The aperitif was an excellent example of a citrus fruit easy drinking sparkler. Ideal for a summer picnic Many of Paul's wines were from Bodegas Ontañon ---- The first white was an usual tempranillo bianco, had a light fruity clean acid finish with an attractive flowery nose. The Verdejo from the Diez Siglos Coop in Rueda which followed was much lighter overall. The Ontañon, Vetiver Rioja had 4 months in oak and had an interesting palate of lemon and orange. It was considered an ideal match with food.
       The first red, a monastrell had rich stone fruit on the nose, was full, with good smooth tannins and was very long. The garnacha from Ontañon which followed proved to be one of the most popular wines. Plum and damson on the nose and a full stone fruit on the palate: tannic and again long. The Ontañon Reserva Rioja was kept for 12 months in oak and was a popular fulll fruity wine. The older Gran Reserva had 3 years in oak and 3 years in bottle before sale. Full stone fruit, balanced and likely to last for a good few years yet but was particularly high scoring and very drinkable now. The final red was unusual in being matured in concrete for 5 years. Full and well balanced it was and excellent finale to a very different selection of Spanish wines.
       Overall, the wines received good marks with just one or two having a wide range of scores which can only be put down to members having different preferences. An ideal situation which always results in interesting comments throughout the evening. For the meeting Mark prepared a Chorizo & Manchego Stuffed Piquillo Peppers, which will be served after the white wines, and Lamb & Roasted Red Pepper Stew with the supper wine. All very moreish and filling.

The Wines
Aperitif: Mas Macia Cava Brut NV 8.72 7
(1)Bodegas Ontanon, Rioja, Tempranilla Bianco 2018 9.26 7+
(2) Diez Sigios, Rueda,Verdejo 2018 7.03 7+*
(3) Bodegas Ontanon, Rioja, Vetiva Rioja Bianco 2017 8.11 7*
(4) Bodegas Juan Gill, Jumilla, Monastrell 4 Meses 2017 8.04 7+*
(5) Bodegas Borsao, Tres Picos Garnacha 2010 12.50 8
(6) Bodegas Ontanon, Rioja Reserva 2010 12.16 8
(7) Bodegas Ontanon, Rioja Gran Reserva 2005 20.27 7+*
(8) Valencia Reserva Rioja 2005 26.49 7*
The supper wine :    Bodegas Ontanon, Ecologica Rioja 2017 8.11

* Average of a wide range of scores!! Often 5 to 9