What a fabulous event. Today NYC based journalists and members of the trade had the opportunity to experience the new brand Rolland Galaretta, a partnership between French winemaker and consultant Michel Rolland and Spanish wine entrepreneur Javier Galarreta. The project is to highlight the virtue of Spain and its quality wines, with potential for the international markets.
The tasting started with two vintages of Verdejo, the traditional white wine of Rueda. It was amazing to see how two vintages could be so different – the 2013 was bright, fresh, tart and quite floral, with flavors of sweet young nectarine, while the 2012 had more weight and was more redolent of peach nectar.
The two Riojas were quite smooth and easy drinking, both 100% Tempranillo aged in American wood. Of the two vintages I liked both but preferred the 2010 to the 2011. Unlike many young Riojas, they were ready to drink now.
My favorite wines of the tasting were the two Ribera del Duero, 85% Tempranillo and 15% Merlot (Michel is from Bordeaux, after all) and aged in French oak. The wines were both quite sophisticated and well balanced, very suitable for an upscale restaurant and also, ready to drink now.
The “ready to drink now” factor was an important element in the project, Michel told the guests, explaining that in today’s world, no one really wants to wait 15 years for a wine to age. Besides, that, in cities like NYC there is very little room to store such wines.
A four course lunch followed showing how well the wines paired with food. The R & G Verdejo 2010 was paired with a lovely, light seafood salad, the Rioja with lobster was paired with R & G 2010 Rioja, and the NY strip steak and short rib Marmalade and wild mushrooms was paired with R & G Ribera del Duero 2010.
The launch was also an opportunity for Rolland and Galarreta to film the final scenes of the film “The Duel of Wine,” the sequel to the award wining docu-drama “El Camino del Vino,”starring Charlie Arturaola.
Finally, it was a treat to be seated next to Michel during lunch and hear his stories as well as meet his niece Virginie Rolland, who runs VRolland Selection.