Wine Tasting at the Hill Top – April 2023

I write this while the taste of all those lovely wines still lingers on the tongue and the nose of pineapple still lingers in the air… and before the hangover from the over indulged wine tasting kicks in… ! I know I should ‘squash’ it to the back of the palette and let it linger on the roof of my mouth but I enjoy the flavour too much … am I a wine heathen? I know for some wine is a religion and I respect that and this afternoon I was taught to respect it a little more.

I met Franco Valori for the first time today who presented these Corcovo fine wines on behalf of and alongside Domingo, the Valdepeñas family wine producer and I don’t know what I was expecting. Franco is a formidable English man from an Italian family selling fabulous wines for the Spanish Corcovo wine family.. and he is passionate about it. He explained to me that he got into the wine selling business after trying some great wines for his twin sons’ christening and the business blossomed from there….lucky for us…

I wasn’t able to be at any of the other recent Corcovo wine tastings as I was away but a treat was waiting for me on my return so I already knew that the Blanco Airén was going to delight me with the traditional Airén grape that is grown in a mix of limestone, sand and clay at a height of 700 mtrs. … just delicious.. perfect with smoked salmon and blue cheese. We had the lovely mix of cold meats and cheeses provided by the Hill Top … just the smoked salmon missing! Myself personally, I enjoy this wine with friends on our terrace, just living the dream! I only bought a few…..!

Franco continued to present the Verdejo followed by the ‘long life’ (it improves with age!) Moscato and claimed the fruity next tasting of the Rosado to be among the ‘best in the world’ which had recently won a silver award. One of our group wondered just how much this would retail in the UK and we debated that it would retail for at least £13 in a supermarket and perhaps £25 in a restaurant! Lucky for us it’s only €4.50 tonight.

Jackie Thomas, a U3A wine tasting newbie on our table, has been a member of U3A wine tasting in South Africa, Australia, and America and I hope your taste buds were dazzled Jackie….

We were in for a treat when the reds were produced to, by now, a noisy U3A bunch. The fruity young Roble Temperanillo tasting of vanilla and black pepper was a smooth oak barrelled red, was nicely chilled and slipped down a treat.

We finished on a 2018 harvest Reserva and, as usual, the best was reserved until last. A five year process.. fermentation and before bottling,  2 years in a barrel… just delicious….

There’s a Wine Tasting Seasonal Break now but the fabulous group organisers Pat & Brian Clarke will be following up with the usual Wine tasting events … so keep your eyes peeled for these and remember that famous Wine Motto…. ‘Open….and allow to breathe….’…If you can wait that long!

Write-up by Fiona Sankey