One lunch, eight wines. Could it get any better than that? It actually did; This luncheon was held one sunny afternoon at the very pretty Cecconi’s at the Soho Beach House. Cecconi’s is well known for its stunning nighttime vibe of twinkling lights that covet the Buttonwood trees year-round. During the day Cecconi’s is equally as enchanting with the South Beach sun peeking through the the branches radiating a calm, chic mood.
The wines were from the Spanish house of Matarromera which is found in the heart of Ribera del Duero. Ribera del Duero is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO, a Spanish regulatory classification system) located in the northern high plains and is one of eleven quality wine regions.
The luncheon was a tasting more so than a pairing of certain wines with certain foods; it was two old worlds, Italy and Spain coming together for one fine luncheon. Cecconi’s menu is Venetian inspired; simple, flavorful and stylishly presented. The uncomplicated fare was casually served family style with impeccable attention paid to the quality and presentation of the dishes.
It can be overwhelming to sit at a luncheon like this one with round after round of wine being poured, tasted and randomly paired with the variety of foods served, I will say it is rather remarkable that I came up with the reflective tasting notes that I did. What made this task relatively easy was that all of the wines were enjoyable, with a few standout ones, Emina Prestigio Verdejo, Val Rose, Matarromera Reserva, and the Matarromera Pago de las Solanas This portfolio of wine is impressive in style and price. I found each of the wines to be pronounced and unyielding in their own right.
Emina Prestigio Verdejo 2011, $15: This clean bright wine shows a pale yellow straw color with a matching clean, yet complex set of aromas; ranging from tropical fruits to graceful lavender and a peeking hint of zesty fennel. Well balanced acidity lends itself to a strong composition as it finishes long, large and lush.
Val Rose 2011, $10: The very pretty Rose is clean and bright with ample range of fruit and floral. Expressive and open the Rose has an acidic unapologetic swagger that brings a crisp freshness to the overall harmony of the wine.
Melior 2009, $15: Young and contemporary this showy red wine struts its stuff with lots of cherries and blueberries on the nose and palate. The intimation of ripe fruit balances the wine, abundant with acidity and tannins.
Matarromera Crianza 2008, $28: 100% Tempranillo, this Crianza shows off its trademark colors of ripe cherry with a flash of purple. On the nose this wine is comprehensive with strawberries, blackberries, dates, and figs; the 12 months of ageing in French and American oak has proven this wine swank with a signature Crianza bouquet of toast, coffee, vanilla, leather, and cocoa. To the taste this Crianza mimics the aroma profiles to a slow finish that is classically powerful with smooth tannins.
Matarromera Reserva 2006, $50: Moving from Crianza to Reserva this100% Tempranillo has been aged for 18 months in French and American oak barrels. Deeper in color than the Crianza, this Reserva shows off serious variations of cherry tones. A rich nose of vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, leather, and red fruit lends to the complex range of this wine. The tannins are sweet giving way to a balanced soulful finish.
Cyan la Calera 2004, $28: Visually this wine was deeply intense with a bright, clean dark cherry color correlating with the nose by conveying a commanding perfume of ripe black fruit and fine toasted oak. The mouthfeel was meaty and fat with seasoned tannins showing off its aged pedigree. The hint of mineral tones gave way to a pleasant acidity for an agreeable balance of freshness.
Rento 2005, $50: Purple-y red, bright and intense this big wine is compounded by much; coffee, leather, ripe black fruits, venerable woods and holiday spices. Long and lingering this complex wine possesses elegance with an impressive muscular structure and restrained tannins.
Matarromera Pago de las Solanas 2001, $350: The Grande Dame, intense in color, dark purple; intense on the nose; ripe and jammy with black fruits; And intense in flavor with sweet vanilla, black pepper, cloves, dark chocolate and earthy leather. The tannins are strong and sweet making up the backbone giving way to a solid and complex wine with a long melodious finish.
The day ended on such a memorable note that it has remained etched in in my mind; a taste of Key Lime Pie, Tiramisu and a glass of Matarromera Pago de las Solanas 2001, no espresso or explanation needed.
Click here to view more photos of the luncheon.
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