Spanish wines and truffles at Fayetteville Wine Society meeting - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 04-02-2009 08:34 AM

Monday night at the Fayetteville Wine Society meeting we tasted a dozen wines from Spain. Susan Rice, who has a truffle-centered shop in Moore County, NC, contributed to the refreshments. Currently she is importing truffle products from France. She is embarked on planting an orchard of hazlenut trees and some type of oak and cultivating the growth of Black Diamond French truffles. She already has truffle-impregnated trees in a nursery but it will be 18-24 months before she begins harvesting her own truffles. I believe she said it will be the third largest truffle orchard in the world. She is going to have trained potbelly pigs as her truffle hunters. (Believe me, truffle oil popcorn spoils you for movie house popcorn.)

Go here and scroll down a little for an article about her venture: ... s-to-cary/

We had appetizers of raw vegetables with dip, cheese cubes and crackers. Then the kitchen brought our white and green asparagus blanched and flavored with truffle olive oil, Champagne vinaigrette and basil and shaved Parmesan cheese. This accompanied the Cava and two still white wines.

Pizza pieces with a variety of mushrooms, caramelized onion, and shaved black truffles accompanied the red wines.

Dessert was a challenge for the chef but she came up with baked brie cheese, cream cheese, blueberry reduction and shaved truffles.

The wines:

Don Conde Cava Non-vintage, Penedes
Very crisp, lemony and quite minerally, this was popular at my table.

2007 Pazo San Mauro Albarino, Riax Baixas
I was excited to see this as I have had trouble finding Albarino wines locally. Teresa, from Grapes and Hops, says she may carry this in the future. She said she has stocked Albarinos before. This went well with the asparagus but I would like to serve it or another Albarino (along with Muscadet) with mussels for a church wine tasting fundraiser next fall. I ordered two bottles.

2007 Naia Verdejo, Rueda
(Verdejo grape) Quite acidic but pleasant. Surprisingly long finish. I liked this and was going to order a bottle but when I saw that I already have five wines to order I scratched this.

Our first two reds, in a flight, were the Rioja Crianza and "Solanes" from Priorat.

2004 Castillo Labastida Crianza, Rioja. Light garnet color with some transparency. Beautiful nose--almost floral (violets) and dark berries. Quite tannic, more astringent than the nose suggests. I liked this better as it sat in the glass for awhile.
I ordered one or two bottles.

2002 Cims de Porrera "Solanes," Priorat
Somewhat more opaque than the Crianza. Drinking as a young wine. From vineyard at 400 to 600 meters high. Blend of Carignan, Merlot, Syrah, Garnacha (?) (I couldn't keep up with Nick in his introduction to the wine. This was also better with some aeration.

I believe the next flight was the wine from Ribera del Duero and the Almansa wine but I could have the order confused as they didn't follow the order of the handout.

2005 Bodegas Emilio Mor, Ribera del Duero. Vineyard at 700 meters. Received WA score of 92. Quite dark purple-red. Drank smoothly and with refinement. I ordered one or two bottles.

2007 Bodegas Atalaya "Atalaya," Almansa
The flavors that stood out to me were pink peppercorn and red berry fruit. A light, fruity wine--very enjoyable. I could see this with a picnic or patio meal and added it to my order.

If I have the flights in the right order we then had the wine from Toro and another Priorat.

2004 Vinedos de Villaester "Taurus," Toro
Garnacha, Monastrell (not sure if there was a third grape variety) Blueberry flavor which is not my favorite in wines.

2005 Bodegas Pinord "+7," Priorat A Cabernet Sauvignon/Garnacha blend. Non-traditional, robust. Pepper and red fruit (maybe some raspberry flavor). Tastes strongly of the Garnacha/Grenache.

I believe the Muga Reserva was paired in a flight with the wine from Calatayud.

2004 Bodegas Muga Reserva Seleccion Especial, Rioja
I very much enjoyed this although I think it would improve with several more years of cellaring. Smooth, elegant, medium-bodied wine with medium finish. I ordered one bottle.

2007 Bodegas Ateca "Atteca," Calatayud
120-year old Garnacha vineyard. Aged in French oak. Not one of my favorites of the evening.

Emilio Lustau Jerez Rare Cream Non-vintage, Jerez
Nice but I prefer Port to sherry in most instances.

A good time and some reasonably priced wines. I ended up ordering nine bottles (assorted among five wines) which is a record for me at a FWS meeting. Others were ordering half-cases or full cases of their favorites.

No April meeting because of a special event in early May. May 2nd will be a charity wine gala at Fox Hollow (formal European-style gardens)--jazz orchestra, four distributors and four local restaurants contributing. A BMW dealer as the main sponsor. Part of the ticket price will go to Children of Fallen Warriors and to an international children's charity doing work in Peru.

- newsguy - 04-02-2009 10:29 AM

nice event and nice notes, WOW. thanks.

- winoweenie - 04-02-2009 05:58 PM

If I attended these meetings I'd weigh more than I do now!!!!WW [img][/img]

- Thomas - 04-03-2009 08:37 AM

I was wishing that I lived down South...

First time I discovered truffle oil, I understood Nirvana.

- Drew - 04-04-2009 08:13 AM

I have no, nilch, nada experience with truffle oil and I recently bought a bottle of La Truffiere white truffle oil. The aroma is amazing but the flavor has an off putting petrol type note (hard to describe this note). Any suggestions as to what I'm supossed to experience or rec's on brands to buy that are good?


- Thomas - 04-04-2009 09:31 AM

Don't know about the 'petrol' note, but truffles do have a pungent earthiness to the taste. It's possible to use too much; that can make the taste seem overboard. Just a tiny dribble does the trick.

If on the bottle anywhere it reads truffle essence or truffle aroma, it isn't the real stuff.

As for brands, it is difficult because prices are all over the map.

I've tasted Urbani and Eugenio Brezzi and liked them. There's about a $4 spread between them ($16-$20) for about 1.5-to 1.75 oz.

- Drew - 04-04-2009 09:49 AM

What I have is the real McCoy as I did some research on "truffle oils". You know, the second time I used it I did as you said and added just a few drops and it was better. Is it more about the aroma than the taste because the aroma is wonderful?


- winoweenie - 04-04-2009 10:12 AM

I have used it for years, and, YES Inspector, it's all about the smell. The taste is more of a "Eureka" moment thingie. It'll come. WW

- Thomas - 04-04-2009 11:39 AM

Yes, something does get lost in the taste when the truffle infuses oil. I guess that it has to do with the oil's acidity and of course, the quality of the oil used.

In 2007, I was in Piemonte during truffle season. The mushrooms showed up on every menu--made me wonder why I couldn't have been born in Piemonte.

- TheEngineer - 04-04-2009 11:44 PM

Great notes WoW! I love truffles and truffle oil! Having said that I've tried many many brands and some are certainly superior to others.

Some surprises, I did not liek the Olivier's version despite the fact that I love their oils in general. The ones that Igourmet use to sell were the best but they no longer have them as suppliers. Their other ones are okay. I can come back with names soon.

- wondersofwine - 04-06-2009 10:40 AM

Drew, like you I don't have lots of experience with truffle oil but I think I prefer the black truffles (summer?) over the white truffles (winter?)

- hotwine - 04-06-2009 10:55 AM

Looks like Spec's in Houston has a pretty good supply of both white & black truffle oils. The white seems to be much more expensive than the black.

- Thomas - 04-07-2009 08:27 AM

Yes, Hotwine. The white is the more rare truffle.