Wines made by Sommeliers

Today we happily share with you the thoughts of Matteo Montone (World Best Young Sommelier 2019) in reference to wines Made by Sommeliers where he mentioned El Mago Red as a unique gem recently discovered.

Spain, long recognised as one of the three cornerstones of European wine production has not received the same acclaim as most French and many Italian wines based on the fact that in the past and still in recent times most Spanish wines were produced and sold in bulk, but, luckily now, with new wine-makers, modern wine-making, allied to developments in international cuisine, Spain offers some very good wines at affordable and very competitive prices:

In words of Matteo Montone;

  1. Franck Massard – El Mago RangeLast summer I was honoured to personally meet Frank Massard (UK Sommelier of the year 1996) in Terra Alta (Catalunya) where he produces El Mago wine. El Mago takes the name after his 2 children, Maya and Hugo.Frank was a very talented French Sommelier. After many years spent on the restaurant floor he left  to pursue his dream to make his own wine. He fell in love with Spanish wines and started to work with small growers in Spain, especially in Catalunya.

    El Mago has a very small production of around 10,000 bottles in Terra Alta, where Frank works with very old Garnacha vines, organically grown. The wine is aged for 6 months in stainless steel.

    The wine is fruit driven, showing aromas of fresh strawberries and cranberries. The tannins are silky with a refreshing mineral undertow.

    I recommend to serve this wine at a relatively cool and fresh temperature of 16 degrees in a Burgundy Riedel glass, so you fully appreciate the lovely aromas.

    Traditionalists might be surprised that I would match this with Grilled Salmon, served with olives and ginger sauce. Believe me: the wine tannins and acidity counterbalance the rich meat and oils of the salmon, while the  spicy flavours in the wine complement the sauce – always a more significant consideration when pairing wines and foods than the ‘colour’ of the ‘meat’.

Cheers on that!

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