Archive for the news Category
At Dehesa del Carrizal, September means the beginning of one of the most important process in wine production: the grape harvest. Normally it goes on for around two months and is very important to take special care when doing so in order to get the best results.
Regarding the weather, 2015 was a very dry and hot year, but, according to midyear climate analysis, the temperature in 2016 has been more moderate. Besides, winter and the first part of the spring, were very rainy seasons, which supposed the slowest grape growth in last five years. However, the normal vegetative cycle carried on and blooming took place in June in perfect climate conditions.
At the end of August, harvest promising was very optimistic talking about quantity and, above all, quality of the grape. The colder temperatures registered in our vineyard during the night, allowed for a slow ripening and this process has a substantial effect in the grape quality.
How it is going to be our grape harvest in 2016?
These reasons, among other important for grape development, let us predict a good harvest regarding all the Dehesa del Carrizal varieties.
Related to this process, the first grape which is going to be collect is the Chardonnay. After that, we will start with Merlot, Tempranillo and Syrah, ending the harvest in October with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Chardonnay is one of the most appreciated and widespread varieties all over the world. Its origins are set in the Burgundy French region, but thanks to its excellent adaptation it has been exported to a wide range of different regions, from California to New Zealand or Chile. It is the second most cultivated grape in the world, after the universal Cabernet Sauvignon.
It is a white variety, its fruit is small and round, and it develops a melon color shade after fermentation. As a result of its ripening, a soft and aromatic must, rich in fruitful features, is obtained.
The first Chardonnay grapevines planted in the estate Dehesa del Carrizal date back to 1997. In spite of being a more common variety in fresh climates, the truth is it has excellently adapted to our particular microclimate ever since the beginning. One of the essential factors for this particularly good acclimatization was the stream Carrizal, bathing the area of the estate where the first Chardonnay vineyards were planted. The stream offers a constant freshness and the vegetation growing in its banks provides the grape with a softer temperature in the summer and allows for an excellent fruit ripening.
The Chardonnay Dehesa del Carrizal is fruity —with hints of pear, mango and lemon— and floral, with some notes of nuts (hazelnut and almond). The production in the winery is Burgundy style: skin maceration before pressing, and fermentation and aging in Frenck oak barrels, half of them new and half one year old. The aging takes place on lees with batonnage (lees stirring). The result is a rounded wine, unctuous and flavorsome in the mouth, but always fresh, light and pleasant, with a long aftertaste, ideal to combine with white meat, fish and cheese.
It is certainly one of the most demanded wines from Dehesa del Carrizal.
Next vintage, 2015, is expected to be launched in the market in October!
The winery obtains 14 medals throughout 2015
“We’re improving the product and that’s reflected in prizes”, comments Pierre-Yves Dessevre, director of the winery Dehesa del Carrizal. Indeed, the evolution of the wines has been extremely positive for some years, thus translating into higher scores in specialised guides and a greater amount of prizes and awards, both on a national and an international level.
Throughout 2015, the wines submitted to competitions were mainly from 2011, but also some 2012 and 2013 vintages. They all got prizes. Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 obtained the gold medal at both CINVE and Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, and a bronze medal at the Decanter prizes. Colección Privada 2011 was also awarded the gold medal at Cinve and Brussels. The blended wine by Dehesa del Carrizal, MV 2011, obtained the gold medal in Brussels and a silver one at CINVE. For its part, Syrah 2011 was awarded the gold medal at CINVE and the silver one at the International Wine Challenge. A total amount of ten medals for a more than interesting vintage. Chardonnay 2013 and Petit Verdot 2012 also obtained several prizes: silver at CINVE and bronze at Decanter for the white wine, and gold at CINVE and bronze in the International Wine Challenge for the Petit Verdot, one of the most interesting future investments at the winery — its 2010 vintage obtained the Grand Gold Bacchus last year.
“A great effort is being made, improving everything we believe we can improve. For the future, all our hopes are set on the 2012 vintage and, particularly, from the 2013 vintage onwards”, says Pierre-Yves Dessevre. The aim of these modifications was improving the final quality of the harvested grape as well as achieving a greater accuracy in the production processes carried out in the winery. “We try to be better day after day in order to obtain the highest quality wines in every vintage. Last year’s Grand Gold Bacchus to our Petit Verdot 2010 was a great recognition for our work, but we can’t stop there and we have to keep improving. We believe we’ll go further in the next years, that the coming vintages will have a higher quality”, says the director of the winery.
The main wine guides seem to share in this idea. Year after year, the wines Dehesa del Carrizal are given better and better scores by the specialized tasters. Guía Peñín, a reference in the sector, has published its 2016 edition with excellent scores for the wines Dehesa del Carrizal. Colección Privada 2012 is highlighted with its 93 points, which allowed the winery to participate last October 29th in the Salón de los Mejores Vinos de España (Best Wines of Spain Show), an essential appointment for the sector annually organized by the publication itself.
Some tricks to compose your own harmonies between your favorite dishes and wines
To match means “to pair or assort different things with a view to fitness or equality”. In the case of wine, matching is not difficult but it requires knowing some basic principles. As soon as you learn them, you’ll be able to compose your own harmonies between dishes and wines. Here are some tips:
Follow your taste. This is the first rule you can’t forget about. It’s your experience and you rule. Trust your way of understanding food and the way you enjoy wine. When matching, choose those wines you like drinking on their own and have enough character to be tasted by themselves. Then, try to discover what they could offer by combining them with your favorite dishes… Can you see? You’re already matching wine and food!
It’s not a dish + a wine: it is a set menu. It’s not about putting together the flavors of a certain dish and a specific wine. It’s about creating a set menu with many dishes and many wines. The sequence of all of them must offer a global experience as pleasant as possible. Sometimes, two excellent harmonies of independent wines and dishes offer a very poor set. When matching, think of the global result. For instance, a full bodied wine cannot be served before a light wine. Both may be excellent, but the first one shouldn’t make the second one seem tasteless. Generally, either rosé or white wines must be served before red wines —young ones and then aged ones—, and finally liqueur or sweet wines.
Weight, balance, association and contrast. These are the four elements to take into account when preparing your harmonies. The weight of the food is established by different factors (fat content, ease of digestion, flavor intensity) but it is also very intuitive: meat balls are heavier than salad. With wines, their weight depends on their alcohol content, tannin concentration, variety and time of aging. The secret to achieve good harmonies is finding the balance between dishes and wines.Think of the scales: the weight of both the dish and the wine must be similar. For instance, our Dehesa del Carrizal Syrah is fruity, medium bodied but sweet, and with soft tannins, so it pairs well with roast red meat.Cabernet Sauvignon, however, stronger and with more presence of tannins, could easily be paired with a heavier meat stew.
Another concept you must be acquainted with is that of association/contrast. You can play with two different combinations: dish and wine either complement or contrast with each other. Light dishes with fresh wines would be a combination by association; whereas very strong cheese with sweet wine becomes a harmony by contrast. Another example of contrast: our Dehesa del Carrizal Colección Privada —particularly if it’s been bottled for four or five years— pairs perfectly with chocolate desserts such as cakes or brownies.
What sort of harmony is better? Let’s go back to our first tip: follow your taste.
We suggest five of the best films and documentaries about wine
Autumn’s here and weekend priorities change. With the arrival of cold and rainy weather, plus days becoming shorter, the most appealing weekend plan is to make yourself comfortable in the sofa, wrap up in a good blanket and enjoy your living room watching a good movie. So in this occasion, we would like to recommend five excellent movie titles about wine.
Sideways (2004), by Alexander Payne. A delightful film about two friends in their forties traveling among the vineyards in California before one of them gets married. Half drama half comedy, it is a film with plenty of great moments of unsophisticated cinema, with no effects, to be enjoyed at your leisure. Perfect for a rainy Saturday evening. If you don’t know Napa, you’ll love it. If you’re a fan of the Merlot grape… well, you might not like it that much.
Bottle Shock (2008), by Randall Miller. Are the French the best wines in the world? In 1976 everybody was sure about that. Nevertheless, a prestigious blind wine tasting held in France crowned a Californian wine as the best wine in the world. Bottle Shock presents the history of this competition and how the passion of a few wine-producers from Napa located the town of Calistoga in the map of the wine lovers.
The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969), by Stanley Kramer. Santa Vittoria is a village in the North of Italy, famous for its outstanding wine. In 1945, with World War II about to end, German troops occupy the village in order to seize a million bottles of the precious Italian wine. The whole village sets a plan in motion: hide their treasure in a secret place. Wonderful film starring Anthony Quinn.
Corked (2009), by Ross Clenenden. Hilarious comedy shot in a mock documentary format, showing the life of four Californian wine-producers and how far they are willing to go in order to attract a renowned critic’s attention. You will cry with laughter.
Blood into wine (2010), by Ryan Page and Christopher Pomerenke. Another documentary, a real one in this case, showing rock singer James Keenan’s struggle to establish a winery in Arizona, an almost impossible location for vine-growing.
They mainly look for good value for money and easy to purchase wines
They were born after 1980, are called millennials and drink wine. And besides drinking wine, they are changing the wine industry. Or at least, some authorities in the sector claim they are. Mel Dick, vice president of the main wine distributor in the US, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, points at millennials as the main social group to satisfy in the coming years. And only in the US they are 77 million consumers. […]
The big question is: what wine does a millennial seek? This question is not easy to answer, but the sector has detected some general trends. A millennial tries to find basically the best, but prioritizing between quality and price. Besides, they like innovating and trying new experiences, immediately informing their friends, either if it is a positive or a negative experience. Adapted to the world of wine, this means that millennials essentially want good value for money wines, without much regard to varieties or origins.
Going a step further, they prefer young and fruity flavors and, besides quality and prize, they do appreciate them being easy to find and purchase. This aspect is essential for them. It must be noted that this generation communicate and, increasingly, buy using smartphones. Moreover, a millennial absolutely relies on their friends’ (or other people’s) opinions on social networks, discussion groups and blogs.
The process might be the following: they check their mobile and find out someone has uploaded a photo on Facebook drinking a glass of wine with a positive comment, then they search for the wine brand, access the shop online, choose… and buy. And all this happens while he is waiting for the metro. A behavior the wine industry is paying close attention to.
High temperatures in July marked the evolution of a grape harvested at the peak of its ripeness
The 2015 harvest has represented the highlight of a climatically interesting year, with very high temperatures in July though much cooler in August. This had an influence on the fruit ripening process, managing to keep the balance between biochemical and taste parameters. An early evaluation of the grape during the harvest leads to think that it will allow the production of great wines.
Every year, every harvest is different. This vegetative cycle started in dates similar to the average at Dehesa del Carrizal in the last 10 years. The shoots appeared following its usual course; however, a warmer spring sped up the cycle.
The hot weather in July, reaching maximum temperatures of 35ºC, affected the physiological growth of the plant: it slowed down. This meant losing the advances experienced until June. Fortunately, the temperatures became milder after mid-August; thus, the grape ripening process was extended.
Finally, the peak of ripeness was achieved a few days later than the average in the last years and the fruit showed excellent biochemical parameters. At the end of August, the Chardonnay harvest started; it took place at two different times so that each plot was harvested at its best ripening moment. From mid- September onwards, picking restarted in the plots with the varieties Merlot, Tempranillo and most of Syrah. The last plots to be harvested were Petit Verdot, some vines of Syrah requiring more time and Cabernet Sauvignon.
After an interesting and distinctive harvest, it is time to work hard and focus the effort in the winery in order to obtain singular wines, able to transmit their terroir. Like every year, it will be a complex task, but they have already taken the first essential step to produce top quality wines: obtaining top quality grapes.
Spain’s Fundación Tierra de Viñedos (Land of Vineyards Foundation) organized wine seminars in Chicago and New York to take American press and trade members onto an imaginary trip to the territory that inspired Don Quixote through the flavors of a select group of wineries from Castilla-La Mancha which poured their best glasses to conquer American palates.
Mercat A La Plantxa, in Chicago, and Corkbuzz Wine Studios in New York, were the hosts of guided pairing seminars presented, respectively, by wine writer and educator Tom Hyland, and Master of Wine Christy Canterbury.
Guests enjoyed tapas series in which each tapa was paired with two wines. In Chicago, host restaurant Mercat A La Plantxa served a Spanish-style omelette with spinach and potato and saffron aioli; scallops with garlic, lemon and parsley; marinated and grilled chicken brochettes, and bacon wrapped dates stuffed with almonds. In New York City, the tapas for pairings included crispy pork belly, red lentils and pickled mushroom; braised octopus, olive panisses and piperade; crispy fingerling potatoes and black garlic aioli; chicken fried rabbit; and beef tartare with horseradish on a rye toast.
The chefs selected on this important roster will appear on Food & Wine’s July issue and will be showcased at the 33rd annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this summer.
Mediterraneo Taste is the US importer and distributor for some of the participating wineries as Vinícola de Castilla, Bodegas Vidal del Saz, as well as some of the most exclusivity and great wineries from Castilla -La Mancha as Vegatolosa, Dehesa del Carrizal, Cortijo de trujilla and Pago de Vallegarcia.
Wine from Castilla-La Mancha needs to be the next “it” thing after Quixote.
“Charcutería: The Soul of Spain” have been nominated for the 2015 James Beard Foundation Book Awards that will be announced next April 24th during a gala event at New York City’s Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers.
The Soul of Spain is the first book to introduce authentic Spanish butchering and meat-curing techniques to the American market. Included are more than 100 traditional Spanish recipes, straightforward illustrations providing easy-to-follow steps for amateur and professional butchers, and gorgeous full-color photography of savory dishes, Iberian countrysides, and centuries-old Spanish cityscapes.
Author Jeffrey Weiss has written an entertaining, extravagantly detailed guide on Spain’s unique cuisine and its history of charcutería, which is deservedly becoming more celebrated on the global stage. While Spain stands cheek-to-jowl with other great cured-meat-producing nations like Italy and France, the charcuterie traditions of Spain are perhaps the least understood of this trifecta. Americans have most likely never tasted the sheer eye-rolling deliciousness that is cured Spanish meats: chorizo, the garlic-and-pimentón-spiked ambassador of Spanish cuisine; morcilla, the family of blood sausages flavoring regional cuisine from Barcelona to Badajoz; and jamón, the acorn-scented, modern-day crown jewel of Spain’s charcutería legacy.
Charcutería: The Soul of Spain is a collection of delicious recipes, uproarious anecdotes, and time-honored Spanish culinary traditions. The author has amassed years of experience working with the cured meat traditions of Spain, and this book will surely become a standard guide for both professional and home cooks.
First of all, what are torrijas? They are the Spanish version of a french toast. This “sweet” is traditionally eaten during Lent, the 40-days before Easter. It is believed that “torrijas” originated in Andalucian convents during the XV century as a way to use up stake bread. They were considering a great meal for recovering patients and pregnant women.
Today it is a popular breakfast food all over Spain. The British call it bread pudding, while Americans would probably call it “French Toast.”
But torrijas differ from French toast on three aspects:
- The first one is that torrijas are made out of old bread. The bread has to be tough – at least two days old bread- in order to keep its consistency after get soaked.
- Second, torrijas can be soaked in milk, but also in wine making it a perfect dessert for lactose intolerant people.
- Finally, torrijas are only sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon or honey. You won’t get any maple syrup or bacon with it!
When can we eat Torrijas?
Although torrijas are popular for breakfast, they may be eaten anytime. There are many variations and we’ve included some at the end of the recipe. The Spanish generally use a French-style baguette, as in the photo, but white bread can be used, too.
There is nothing better than a good torrija after a tapas tour!!!
1 bread loaf (with tight crumb, no baguettes here) bought the day before and let go stale
4 cups (1 liter) whole milk
3 tbsp sugar (or honey if you prefer)
1 stick cinnamon
Basilippo Olive Oil for frying
Sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling
Cut the bread into 1 inch (2.5cm) slightly diagonal slices. Arrange them on a shallow dish that can hold the milk.
Put all the milk in a saucepan with the sugar and the cinnamon stick, bring to a boil. Turn off the heat the moment it starts to boil and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
Discard the cinnamon, then pour the milk on the bread and let soak for one hour.
Beat the eggs in a plate large enough to hold at least one torrija.
Heat the oil to medium in a large frying pan that can hold several torrijas at the same time. With a large spatula (the bread will be overly soft), carefully transfer the soaked slices one by one into the egg and turn them to coat. Then dip the slices into the hot oil.
Fry for 3-4 of minutes on each side, until brown.
Take out to a dish lined with a paper towel and thoroughly sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Try not to pile them up while warm. Enjoy warm or cold.