The sommelier who works in Alicante interacted with her audience at all times, championing "the greatness of these wines that must be enjoyed leisurely and seriously"
On this second day of Fenavin, Andrea Alonso Castaño, 'Nariz de Oro 2010' presented four big 'Pago' wines "that are ideal for a wonderful evening, to be enjoyed leisurely, yet seriously," meaty wines that "have such a high mineral content that they can practically be chewed," said the Golden Nose, who is of Uruguayan origin but lives in Alicante, and who interacted with her audience at all times, allowing them to also express their views.
This sommelier, who works for Makro Alicante, is now famous for having the most phenomenal pituitary in Spain in as far as recognizing and dissecting all the aromas, flavors and smells of a wine are concerned. Tasting wines for her is a daily affair and she is highly impressed with how tremendous Fenavin is, trade fair that she praised "as one of the biggest in the world, in particular in that referring to quality."
Praise for Fenavin
Knowledgeable as she is of FENAVIN from previous editions as a sommelier, the 2010 Golden Nose asseverates that the trade fair "is extraordinary, of an incredible magnitude; one of the few events in which it is possible to become acquainted with the products of the great majority of wineries and at which many commercial agreements are reached thanks to the presence of numerous national and international purchasing channels."
Men and women have the same sense of smell, although in the case of women it is more highly developed
In her opinion, "men and women have the same sense of smell, and it is just a matter of developing it, although those who understand these matters do say that women have a more highly developed sense of smell."
Andrea Alonso presented four special wines for tasting: Manuel Manzaneque Selección 2005; Santa Rosa Reserva 2006 de Enrique Mendoza; Gran Calzadilla 2006 and Dehesa del Carrizal 2004.
In Andrea Alonso's opinion the "Manzaneque Selección 2005" made by the winery Finca Elez in Castilla-La Mancha, "is fabulous in nose and highly structured and full-bodied on the palate, to the point that it can practically be chewed on," and she also highlighted characteristics like "reminiscence of fruit, oak, lingering spice and very mineral." This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Merlot.
In the case of the "Santa Rosa Reserva 2006" made by the winery Bodega Enrique Mendoza in Alicante, the friendly sommelier underlined that "the Cabernet grape variety expresses itself in an extraordinary way in this wine," likewise showing her affection for the vine grower Pepe, "the madman of the vineyard." Spicy hints, aromas of fresh fruit and very balanced in nose, were a few of the characteristics she extolled, while "the aftertaste is more reminiscent of oak than of the mineral," on the palate she added referring to this blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah.
She then shared the great "Gran Calzadilla 2006" wine with the tasters in the audience, underscoring its lovely color, with youthful, practically violet hues. And "its aromas of oak and black and red berries on the palate, refreshing at first and with long aftertaste that can practically be chewed, to finish with a balsamic touch." She also added that "just like the others we tasted today, it is a wine that requires time to open up and evolve before its true qualities appear" the same referring to the blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet that is made in Castilla-La Mancha.
She brought the tasting session to its conclusion with the "Dehesa del Carrizal 2004", a bñend of Cabernet, Syrah and Merlot, which is also the Castellano-Manchego winery's top wine, carrying the same name as the winery itself. Its color is beautifully lively, and it is highly mineral in nose, "with an incredible fruity potency, and perfect balance of oak and fruit that is riper than in the other wines that were tasted. Quite complex in nose, so much so that it is impressive." In mouth it is "incredibly meaty and powerful, to the point that it can be bitten into and chewed, as it impregnates the mouth … hence, it is a long-lasting wine with highly marked tannins."
The Great 'Pago' Wines
During this tasting session the fabulous personality of the Great Pago Wines was made more than manifest, as these are wines produced from a single vineyard and in a very specific terroir; small, painstaking productions; with specific grape qualities that contribute exclusivity and distinction to these wines. There are currently twenty-five wineries making up the Association of Great 'Pago' Wines of Spain, association that was created in Spain in 2003 in order to respond to the interest that many winery owners had in promoting the concept of 'Pago' wines and the search for excellence through a direct relationship between each wine and its place of origin.
Hence, this has indeed been an important tasting session, with the participants at FENAVIN learning about these wines with the best possible guide. Andrea Alonso, who currently works at the Wine House found at the Makro Shopping Center in Alicante, competed in the Golden Nose contest that is organized by the Vinos+Gastronomía magazine and in which more than 400 sommeliers from all over Spain participated.
Given how dynamic the sector is, a Golden Nose must be in training continuously, Alonso admits, apart from gathering together a good level of professionalism, excellent training, enthusiasm for work and a vocation to service, "our job doesn't involve pontificating, as we are actually here to inform and orientate the diner or client". And this, she adds, we must do in a dynamic and entertaining way, "in a way that is easy to understand, so that people will be encouraged to give their opinion on the wine they are consuming, in the same way they would comment on a delicious steak". In her opinion, during any meal or meeting at which wine is served, "responsibility should not be left in the hands of those who know more, but in fact we must lose our fear of having an opinion, because wine is actually a vehicle that encourages friendship".