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vina pomal vineyard

A busy week – an overnighter in Dublin for the excellent flower and produce show that is Bloom followed by a vineyard hop around northern Spain. The opening photo is of a particularly stony hillside in Rioja belonging to Bodegas Bilbainas, perhaps better known for Vina Pomal. (Just when will photography be included in the Born Digital Awards?)

A bit of wine blog catch-up to do on returning…

There are many reasons for it of course but the champagne houses are always reinventing and innovating,. Moet with their new demi-sec champagne developed to be served over ice for example; pick a cheaper Prosecco instead is Fiona Becketts’ conclusion. Wine Sleuth has a video chat with Benouit Gouez, winemaker, at the launch.
The wine world has taken to twitter in a big way and, as I tweeted my way through a Legrain tasting and dinner last Wednesday evening, the tables discussion touched on blogs and the internet. When immersed in the online world it can be a shock that many are not as enraptured with the facilities available. Talk of how blogs evolve – from simple, and often dull, lists of wines tasted to more travel or ‘meet the wine maker’ events. While worthy, wine tasting notes that follow the ridgity of the WSET formal approach, do make rather uninteresting reading. You are not going to find such formality on Old Parn’s blog – swearing and profanity often make an appearance and have offended some of the more delicate readers across the pond. Personally I find them refreshing and the often raise a smile. His conclusion on the Kumau River Estate 2008 Chardonnay concludes with ” pretty aw-inspiring, even if you aren’t really into that whole bullock-circus thing”. Quite what the “whole bullock-circus thing” is in this context I’m not too sure…
Websites designed to share wine tasting notes are many. I generally restrict myself to Snooth and Adegga and hope people who find my scribbles find them useful.

Cellartracker is another. David of Oenotype has his wine notes there linked too from his blog, rather than posting them as a blog article. A facility I’d use if offered by Adegga or Snooth perhaps. Interesting how his take on the Seven Springs Sauvignon Blanc differs in style from, say, mine and Grapefans.
The closing photo, also at Bodegas Bilbainas, shows our group engaged in a little cask sample tasting and being blown-away by the just released Vina Pomal icon wine, Alto de la Caseta, 2007. Around the table on the left is Terry Kirby of the Independent, renown Spanish authority John Radford (seated) and Sarah Jane Evans MW, also an author (contributor to Wine Opus for example) and, would you believe it, is also an expert on chocolate. Since returning I have duly dug out her excellent Chocolate handbook (review / amazon) from the bookshelf…

vina_pomal tasting


  1. Colin Smith says:

    Valid comment Andrew about the differing views of the Seven Springs sauvignon blanc. Isn’t this just one thing that makes wine so fascinating though how it can elicit differing reactions from people?

  2. We have opened up a discussion regarding what categories to add to the Born Digital Wine Awards for 2011 – I’m pretty sure that photography will feature, but we are asking for input and ideas before we commit. Your suggestions would be very much appreciated.
    Hadn’t realised you had been in Rioja recently
    Thanks for another great post

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