Saturday, July 4, 2009

Albariño Tasting at La Tienda

I've always like Albariños ever since...and when Noel told me that he was planning a local Albariño tasting, to rate them and see which one was the best of the locally available ones, I could not let this opportunity pass. Rules were simple: all of them had to be locally available. At firts it was supposed to be a blind tasting but we decided not to so as not to complicate things. Johnny said, we are all Men of Horror...ay ....este 'Honor' pala...

The 5 that we were going to taste and rate were:

2006 Pazo de Barrantes Alabariño - sold by Ralph's
2007 Burgáns Albariño - sold by Barcino
2007 Códax Albariño - sold by Barcino
2007 Laxas Albariño - sold by Terry Selection
2007 Terras Gauda Albariño - sold by Premium Wine Exchange

As we tasted and re-tasted the wines, we had an array of food specially prepared by Chef Xavi, ideal for this type of wine. For tapas, we had Suahe, Kokotxas de Bacalao al Pil Pil, Pulpo a la Gallega, Escalivada, Boquerones, Almeja and Pimientos Rellenos de Bacalao. All of these are our typical porders in la Tienda, so I will no longer elaborate on them, except for the Pimientos rellenos de Bacalao. Green Peppers filled with Bacalao and shrimp, covered with a thick sauce, probably made with pureed Pimientos.

By the time we were done with the Tapas and wines, Noel had tallied all the scores, which were as follows:

1st Place - 2007 Laxas Albariño with 28 points (4 votes for 1st place and 2 votes for 2nd place), Terry Selection.

2nd Place - 2007 Terras Gauda Albariño with 24 points (2 votes for 1st place, 3 votes for 2nd place, 1 vote for 4th place), Premium Wine Exchange

3rd Place - 2007 Burgáns Albariño with 17 points (1 vote for 2nd place, 3 votes for 3rd place and 2 votes for 4th place), Barcino.

4th Place - 2007 Códax Albariño with 15 points (3 votes for 3rd place and 3 votes for 4th place), Barcino.

5th Place - 2006 Pazo de Barrantes Alabariño with 6 points.

We had no doubts and it was almost unanimous that the preferred one was the Laxas and the least preferred, the Pazo de Barrantes. Will all that hard work done...we could now enjoy our reds and the main courses. We had a total of around 10 bottles to choose that was another hard task...We decided to open Noel's Napa, a 2005 KAPCSANDY FAMIILY WINERY and Rene's 2001 YARRA YERING DRY RED WINE No. 1. Rene had brought this back from a recent trip to Australia, mentioning this was a Bordeaux style Australian. It was quite good, but as soon as we opened Jojo's 95 CHATEAU L'EVANGILE, all bets were off.

We then were served the main dishes: Besugo, Paella de Verduras and Chuleton. Food was great as usual, and the Chuleton was exceptionally good this time, including the fries. We decided to open Greg's 2002 SOLANES PRIORAT, which would be a great match for the Chuleton.

Many other red that we brought were spared and will probably have to wait for another good Spanish dinner to be opened. Many thanks to Noel for thinking about organizing this dinner. Thank you Jojo, Rene, Johnny and Greg for the fine wines and company. Nice meeting you Greg. It was unfortunate Johnny had to leave early but I'm sure he enjoyed as well.

Gracias Chef por la cena maravillosa y hasta pronto!!


Noel said...

Javi really outdid himself Friday night. I definitely agree that the chuleton was better than ever and so nicely rare. My type of beef.

You're also absolutely right about the reds - Jojo's '95 L'Evangile just blew everything else away. Nice treat. Last time I had that was also from him sometime in mid-to-late 2005. I bought some '96 L'Evangile around that same time and it wasn't as good as the '95.

Great pics as usual. You posted faster than me!



Miguel said...

Yes food was great and company also. We should do this again SOON...!!

And yes hahaha...finally I beat you at posting hehehe..only becaue you had 2-3 other posts before that hehe..

Chinkee said...

Just when I thought you guys were done after the whites... may reds pa pala! Hahaha! Yeah, that chuleton looks exceptional...

Alicia said...

your posts on La Tienda make me want to revisit this restaurant. Have not been there in years. Am getting a group together for this Saturday- hope I can order all those delicious tapas you always feature. Thanks for your posts and keep them coming;-) And will pick up a few bottles of your recommended whites!

Noel said...


Permit me to respond for Miguel as he is currently in Barcelona.

Of the featured appetizers in this post, only the boquerones and escalivada are on the regular menu (as well as the pulpo à la Gallega I believe but am not 100% sure), while kokotxas al pilpil, this particular preparation of almejas and the pimientos rellenos de bacalao are not.

You'll have to call a few days ahead to request that they be prepared. Even then, the kokotxas will depend on the availability of fish ganglions.

If you want the besugo al horno, even though it's on the menu, it is better to request for it ahead of time as well since Javi buys a limited number of these so that they are always as fresh as can be.

Trust you will have an enjoyable meal with your friends this Saturday.


Alicia said...

Thank you Noel for your comments/ suggestions. I do appreciate it. Will ring them or go there today to arrange the menu;-)

Miguel said...

Thanks N for replying for me...Alicia..Hope you enjoy it when you go and pls let us know how it went

Alicia said...

Just a quick note for a big THANK YOU! My friends and I had a great dinner last night- had everything that I pre-ordered by way of your recommendation- boquerones, almejas, pimientos rellenos (i think this was my favorite but they were all delicious!) escalivada (yum with illusion of healthy!) and the hojalandritos, Pulpo was unfortunately out of stock. Then- Chuleton, cooked perfectly- seared and salty on the outside, rare and tender on the inside, besugo al horno with lots of garlic (hmmm!) and two types of paella . The lead server, Fe, said these were all favorites of "Sir Miguel". I told her that I read all about them in his blog and he deserves the credit;-) Switched over to Noel's blog from your's and between the two of you I see an easy 20 lbs in my future! Thanks again.

Miguel said...

Alicia - Glad you enjoyed it...that's what it's all about...good food and good company. Javi is a great Chef and he does other stuff, which will feature in my blog the next time I go :)

Did you bring your own wine?