Tuesday, 3 September 2013

3.9.13 Sponsor a Vine; Ruiz Mateos Brothers Jailed; Wine Reduces Depression?; Estevez Parker Points

A company called AireArte has unveiled a project to help recuperate the Sherry vineyards which have seen drastic reductions in recent years due to declining sales. The idea is for people to sponsor a vine in the Finca Constancia, with the intention of teaching people about Sherry culture from a vineyard perspective, and the importance of preserving it.

AireArte offer a choice of sponsorship “packs”, from Basic up to Gold. With Basic one pays 20 euros for a vine, is able to visit the vineyard and get a historical and technical explanation, visit a family bodega, pick your own grapes and take them home or receive a bottle of grape juice, a picture of the vine and its ID card. With Gold, the sponsor gets all of the above, plus quarterly photos of the vine to see how it is getting on; 5 bottles of personalised Fino made from grapes harvested by the sponsor, who can visit any time with up to 10 friends and get a tutored tasting; enjoy a Salmorejo (thick cold soup like gazpacho) workshop, all for 135 euros.

Alvaro and Javier Ruiz Mateos, sons of the founder of Nueva Rumasa, Jose Maria Ruiz Mateos have received jail sentences from a court in Granada of 2.9 years - 1.6 for offences against Hacienda (the Spanish Inland Revenue) and 1.3 years for giving false values to assets. They were also fined 1,8 million euros for non-payment of VAT on the sale of a hotel, the proceeds of which were whisked off to a Swiss bank. This is unlikely to be their last court appearance.

A recent study in Spain published in BMC Medicine magazine, has shown that drinking moderate quantities of wine is associated with a reduced risk of up to 32% in becoming depressed. The study observed more than 5,500 men and women aged between 55 and 80, and was immediately seized upon by American doctors, whose studies had shown the opposite. Let’s just enjoy our Sherry to the full while the “experts” try to decide whether it’s good for us or not!

The results of the June tasting at the Consejo by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate tasters have been published.  High marks were also recently awarded by Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirit magazines (in brackets).This is fantastic news, not only for Grupo Estevez, but for Sherry as a whole, as the Wine Advocate also published an article on Sherry, which can only help sales. Some of the scores were:

Valdespino Moscatel Toneles: 100/100                    
Amontillado VORS Coliseo: 99
Palo Cortado VORS Cardenal: 99
PX Niños: 98
Oloroso Viejo VORS Don Gonzalo: 95
Fino Inocente: 94 (Wine Spectator: 92, Wine & Spirit: 94)
Palo Cortado Viejo CP: 93
Oloroso VORS Solera de su Majestad: 93
Manzanilla Deliciosa en Rama: 92
Amontillado Tio Diego: 92 (Wine Spectator: 92, Wine & Spirit: 92)
Moscatel Promesa: 91
PX El Candado: 90 (Wine Spectator: 93)
Manzanilla La Guita: 90
Real Tesoro Amo. Del Principe: 93
Real Tesor Oloroso Almirante: 89
Fino Tio Mateo: 91

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