Saturday, 14 May 2016

Bodegas: RF Cárdenas

This small Enterprise in El Puerto de Santa María, also known as Tasca El Bodegón, really merits a visit. It really is a “bodegón” or bodega/bar run by Héctor Cárdenas, a fine flamenco guitarist, which of course attracts flamenco people to the bar who perform on Saturdays. The initials RF refer to the children of Héctor and his wife Macarena Gómez Feria: Reyes and Fernando.

Despite only being opened in 2010, this bar looks like it has been here forever. The wines in butts arranged in “altars” are Fino Pavón from Luís Caballero and Fino, Amontillado and Oloroso produced by his grandfather, Sebastián Monge Huerta, in his own little bodega. He also has Manzanilla from Barón and some Moscatel from Chipiona. A variety of good food is always available and they have a reputation for game.

The old building adjacent to the bull ring has seen a variety of uses: stables for the Civil Guard, bar, fruit store, parking for a beer distributor, tyre depot and plasterer’s workshop. The walls are adorned with bullfighting memorabilia obtained through his wife’s family connections. There are also shelves holding a collection of old bottles from El Puerto, many from bodegas now lost. Old bodega equipment and labels are also to be seen. Much of this comes from Macarena’s grandfather who had a bar El Refugio, now gone.

Hector Cardenas (R) with the mayor at the launch of Monge (foto:gentedelpuerto)

The bodegón, like Sebastián Monge has always sold wine in bulk, but has just launched a limited availability bottled Fino wine: Monge Vino en Rama, named after Héctors grandfather. It is presented in an old fashioned sand blasted short bottle sealed with wax and the flag of Andalucía. The label is a reproduction of an old print of the bull ring, completed in 1880. The wine cannot be called Fino as the bodega is not in the DO, but it is made from the same grapes and by the same method and is very good.

Address: Calle Pagador, 36, El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz
Telephone: (+34) 645 854 506

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