Sampling some fine reds

Castaway’s Grille and Jacques Scott launched their new monthly wine tasting session last week in an event that attracted wine enthusiasts and novices alike.

The focus of the event was Spanish red wine from the Toro region, specifically the line of wines from the estates of Estancia Piedra.

Founded in 1998, the wine estate, owned by local wine enthusiast Grant Stein, has continued to grow in stature and is frequently counted amongst the new classic wines of Spain.

The Toro region is one of the most rapidly growing wine areas in Spain, located approximately 100 miles North West of Madrid.

Carrie Stein, sales and marketing representative for Jacques Scott, and Fin Wilson, sales representative, were on hand to guide attendees through the four wines – Cantadal Rose, Estancia Piedra Crianza, often referred to as Roble, Estancia Piedra Seleccion and Estancia Piedra Paredinas – all of which were washed down with a tasty selection of complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

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Discussed were grape variety, the flavours and aromas in each wine, how the wine was made and information on the Toro region. Literature on the wines was also to hand for those who wanted to garner additional information.

Ken Moore, managing owner at Castaway’s Grille, said: ‘Last week’s event went really well, considering it was the first time that the event was hosted.

‘Based on this success we are hoping to grow the event and are looking at trying to organise an artists showing at the same time as the wine tasting.

‘We hope to develop the event into a gastronomic arts event all held in a relaxed, informal setting allowing people to truly unwind.

‘Spurred on by this event, we are also looking at re-launching our very popular wine tasting classes.’

The event will be held on the first Thursday of every month and wines to be tasted next month are to be confirmed. To find out more contact Castaway’s Grille, 947-3456.

Red Wine

Cantadal Rose – Tempranillo grapes for this wine come from the ‘Bocarraje’ vineyard and are made in a manner faithful to the traditions of the region. After a few hours of cold-maceration, the free-run juice is bled off just as the must has begun to take on a gorgeous raspberry colour. This must is then fermented in stainless steel at low temperatures. The resulting wine is fresh and intensely aromatic, showing an explosion of sweet forest fruits on the nose and a rounded, well-structured palate, retaining lively acidity.

Crianza – Made form 40-year-old vines and maatured for 12 months in oak barrels this wine has an intense red-cherry colour, with a hint of purple in the rim. The nose is complex, showing an abundance of mature red fruits over a spicy backbone. The wine sits well in the mouth and again shows red fruits. Ripe tannins lend structure, although the wine also maintains a refreshing level of acidity. The wine ends with a long and aromatic finish.

Seleccion An intense red-cherry colour, with a lively ruby rim. The nose is an explosion of mature fruits, cassis and black cherries, and integrated spice, over a backcloth of leather and tobacco. On the palate, this mature wine reveals its fascinating personality with mature dark fruits complemented by meaty notes, creating and exceptionally round and well-balanced sensation in the mouth, gliding towards an agreeably long and harmonious finish.

Paredinas – Grapes for this wine originated from 100 year-old vines from the single vineyard site ‘Paredinas.’ Matured for 22 months in new French oak barrels, this wine has dark hues of mature black cherries and a violet rim. Extremely intense and extraordinarily complex on the nose; cassis and blackcurrant compete with notes of minerals and spice, with hints of black pepper, liquorice and new leather.

Showing an excellent structure, this is a big, powerful, yet balanced wine, with solid tannins and enormous amounts of fruit. On the palate the wine is remarkably persistent, finishing agreeably with cocoa and mature black cherries.

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