Wine Tasting – March 2022

There was a new face present when the Moraira Teulada U3A wine tasting group met up recently for their latest exploration of the joys of the grape.

Bodegas Bleda in Jumilla sent along their newest recruit,  the effervescent and knowledgeable Micaela, who has been with the bodega just four weeks but has 12 years of experience in the wine industry.

She brought with her two whites, one rosado – all new 2021 vintage – plus two more aged reds for the 60 tasters gathered in Sabores ll to sample. It was only a small selection of the wines produced by the fourth generation of the Bleda family who founded the bodega in 1915. Other wines, some of them old favourites, were available to purchase without tasting.

The vineyard’s 617 acres major in the Monastrell grape which is well suited to the arid conditions, but Airén,  Sauvignon  Blanc,  Tempranillo,  Cabernet  Sauvignon and Macabeo also feature.

First up for tasting was the Castillo de Jumilla Blanco, a blend of Airén, Macabeo and Sauvignon Blanc grapes which produced a nice light and fruity wine. At 25.50€ for six bottles it was a snip.
Next was the Pino Doncel Sauvignon Blanc, with a more rounded complex taste it was the most expensive wine of the night at 5.85€ a bottle but proved popular when it came to ordering at the end of the night.
The pleasant Castillo de Jumilla Rosado, made from 100% Monastrell, had tasters thinking of upcoming sunny days on the terrace. It was priced the same as the Blanco.
Also 100% Monastrell was the 2019 Castillo de Jumilla Tinto. It’s amazing how two wines from the same grape can be so totally different in both taste and colour. It was on special offer at just 3.90€ a bottle.
Last up was the 2020 vintage of the Pino Doncel Black, a blend of 50% Monastrell,  30% Syrah and 20% Petit Verdot. Harvested by hand, aged in American oak, with an alcohol strength of 14.5% and a price of 5.55€ it was this taster’s firm favourite.

Many thanks must go to Pat and Brian Clarke who continue to organise our tastings and to Sabores’ boss Lu and his team who provided ‘nibbles’ to go with each wine. Quite a number of tasters stayed on for a meal afterwards but, given the generous size of the nibbles, most managed only a single course.

Review by Ian Graham, Photos by Pat & Pedro