He is one of the most charming people in the wine business in France, always warm and amiable, but never afraid of speaking his mind. Editor of La Revue du Vin de France, the most important trade publication in the neighbouring country, Pierre Casamayor visited Abadía Retuerta a few days ago, toured the vineyards, tasted the wines and, of course, shared his impressions with us.
He is an authority in the world of wine in France, not only because of his professional activity (he has authored or co-authored numerous books on French wine and has written countless articles), but also because of his solid scientific background since his early days as a physicist specialized in the atmosphere. Wine came later, but for a long time he combined teaching climatology and sensory analysis with wine tasting. For French enthusiasts, Casamayor is the ever inquisitive and restless writer of La Revue du Vin de France and one of the tasters of the Hubert guide.
In recent years, Casamayor has closely followed the evolution of Spanish wines. Among his students are some Spanish winemakers who are now leading figures in the sector.
This, in fact, was the second time that the French critic visited Abadia Retuerta. His first trip took place in 2010, as you can see in some of the accompanying photographs. On that occasion, he tasted with our winemaker Ángel Anocíbar and general manager Enrique Valero and there followed an amusing piece in which he paired the estate’s wines with the legendary Joselito hams.
Feature story in La Revue du Vin de France
This time, the agenda included a dinner at Refectorio restaurant with the management and winery teams plus our advisor and alma mater Juan José Abó, and a comprehensive tour of the estate the next day when Casamayor tasted a variety of barrel samples.
The icing on the cake was a vertical tasting of Pago Negralada which provided an excellent insight into the personality and evolution of our flagship Tempranillo. This experience was published in a comprehensive five-page piece in the October issue of La Revue du Vin de France which explained how Abadía Retuerta was created and developed.
Headlined “La Remontada d’un Grand d’Espagne” (The Rise of a Spanish Great), Pierre Casamayor writes that the estate “was a vineyard without vines on the edge of the Duero, which has recovered all its glory thanks to the work of three men”.
In terms of the wines, Casamayor notes that they are renowned for their classicism and finesse. “They are sincere wines, worthy representatives of the terroir but they are not excessive”. He also discovers how the terroir of the Duero benefits Petit Verdot, a variety that is difficult to grow in Bordeaux. Casamayor also praises the freshness of Pago de Valdebellón Cabernet, the combined power and elegance of Pago Garduña Syrah and the ageing potential of Le Domaine white.
But the star is Pago Negralada, thanks to a vertical of 13 vintages that Casamayor classifies into wines to store (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015), for restless people who cannot wait (2009 and 2013) and to drink right now (1996, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006). Readers wishing to follow Casamayor’s sound advice can browse the list of old Negralada vintages on sale in our online store.
His opinions, recorded on video
We naturally asked Pierre about his impressions of the visit and his perception of Abadía Retuerta in the Spanish and international wine sector. With his trademark charm, he responded to the four questions we asked him.
1. What do you think of Abadía Retuerta and its evolution over the years?
2. How would you rate Abadía Retuerta’s terroir?
3. What are your thoughts on Abadía Retuerta’s ability to deal with climate change?
4. Do you think wine tourism adds value to the estate?