This Saturday marked the the happening of the first annual Feast of St. Klaatu blind-tasting competition, held at my flat.
St. Klaatu (pictured above) is a fictional figure with a great influence on the Church of the Subgenius, and whose teachings
we can take much from. Check his final speech frm 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' (1951). Don't check the new version with that wistful pissant Keanu Reeves that came out last year.
The participants were nine, divided into three teams: les blancs, les rouge and les rosés. There were 6 bottles of wine, and one carton of Don Simon, that served as a red
herring, only it didn't. I made a list of name, year, appelation and grape variety for all to see, and some reference books for those who weren't that familiar with the specifics of Spanish wine.
The teams had to put the list of wines in the correct order after one glass and a little consultation.
Someone had to be the judge, so that was me.
I took all the bottles to a secret location, and returned to the fold with a bottle whose label was obscured by a clean sock. In order to help the participants, I tried to choose an order that would emphasise the contrast in the wines.
The order was as follows.
1. Raimat Cabernet Sauvgnon, Merlot, Tempranillo
Costers Del Segre, 2006
The cabernet really stood out here, faithful to its forest-fruit description, with a notable dose of tanins.
2. Masdeu Garnatxa and Carinyena
Textbook spicey cracker of a wine from the region that surrounds El Priorat. This one won a fair few fans.
3. Luzon Monastrell
This one was a wildcard, as we had never reviewed a wine from this grape or region before. We struggled to notice the wet-dog taste that has been attributed to the variety.
4. Petit Grealo Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
Costers del Segre, 2005
From the same region as the first bottle, but very little in common in terms of character. This concentrated red divided opinion, some enjoyed the intensity, others struggled to finish a glass.
5. Faustillo VII Tempranillo and Mazuelo
Rioja, Year not given
After the tananic onslaught of the previous drop, a smoothed-out tempranillo whose tabacco notes were a dead giveaway.
6. Azpilicueta Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo
A tough one as its description was so similar to the previous tipple. I felt that the complexity, although subtle, separated it from the mass-produced Faustino VII.
It was a close competition, that became more competitive as it drew to a close, but in the end, les blancs walked away with the trophy, with a score of 3/6.
The fans favourite was the Masdeu, but I think that with the right meat or cheese dish, the Petit Grealo would have won more hearts and minds.
Mark Philip Dix I