After my little rant about a Rioja that was almost 100% Sauvignon Blanc, it’s nice to see a wine from the Penedès DO (denomination of origin) clearly marked as a varietal – a wine made primarily from one grape and carrying the name of said grape. In this case, it was a bottle of Bodega Pinord’s Chateldon Reserva 2004.
I was sent this by Liz Tobin, founder of ViVino in South Wales which specialises in supplying Spanish wines to pubs, restaurants and weddings – and soon to everyone via an online shop. The selection is small. Liz, who lived in Catalonia for eight years, looks to import wines from medium and small producers whose wines reflect the region and climate where the grapes are grown.
“I like wines that subtly change over vintages,” she adds, “rather than those that are adjusted year on year to fit a branded flavour”.
Remember, folks, that Penedèsis also home to Spanish behemoth Bodega Torres.
I took the bottle to share with friends. Cabernet Sauvignon can be a tough, tannic beast but when it ages and softens, it can reveal so many different aromas and flavours. The Chateldon Reserva 2004 didn’t disappoint. Fourteen months in oak barrels, a further two years in bottle prior to release, and a splash of Merlot, gave it aromas of vanilla-dusted black plums along with prunes and coffee.
An initial taste revealed blackcurrants, herbs and a hint of orange peel with some perky but not mouth-puckering tannins. When drunk with food, it become surprisingly more intense, with strong flavours of cooked plums and freshly polished leather. A decent finish too. Retailing for around £12, this is a solid, well-crafted Cabernet that would be perfect for a Sunday joint of beef or a casserole with friends.