The Date and Time: Monday February 27, 2017 11:30AM - 3PM
The Event: Master Class with Matias Calleja of Bodegas Beronia, on the use of oak.
The Venue: Lena
The Target Audience: wine media, sommeliers (36 or so in all at the seminar)
The Availability/Catalogue: only some wines are at the LCBO, as indicated. Others can be privately ordered through Woodman Wines and Spirits.
The Quote/Background: we tasted 10 wines. A white at reception, a barrel sample of new Rioja done up in three different oak styles, a reserva and three Gran Reservas. Matias spoke on the company's use of oak: US oak, French oak, and special barrels with US staves and French heads. I actually did prefer this latter, which was a judicious use of oak. They go through 3500 new barrels a year, and all new wines go into new barrels for a period and after that into second- and third-use barrels for aging.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-BERONIA GRAN RESERVA 2008 VINTAGES 940965 $37.95
-BERONIA GRAN RESERVA 1994 PO
-BERONIA GRAN RESERVA 1973 N/A **BEST WINE TODAY** 95pts
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-BERONIA RESERVA 2012 VINTAGES 50203 $20.95
-BERONIA TEMPRANILLO ELABORACION ESPECIAL RIOJA LCBO 426981 $16.95
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-BERONIA RUEDA VERDEJO 2015 VINTAGES 461327 $11.25
-BERONIA TEMPRANILLO RIOJA LCBO 243055 $13.95
Barrel Samples – US Oak (88pts); French Oak (89pts); Mixed oak (90pts)
The Food: we had a range of Spanish cheeses and sausages plus breads just after the tasting started. This was followed by a scrumptious meal accompanied with extra wine: our table had some 1994 Gran Reserva (yummy), with choices of mushroom and lentil soup, organic chicken, caldoso pasta, and striploin. I chose the striploin because I thought it would pair better with the Rioja. It did. Kudos to the kitchen.
The Downside: I thought the aromas of the cheeses and the sausages on the tables conflicted with the aromas of the wines. They were difficult to ignore.
The Upside: a good chance to hear about an oak program, and to savour a wonderful 1973 Gran Reserva Rioja.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.