Roll Out the Barrels!
Peter Sissick a Danish wine maker who has worked extensively in Bordeaux and California, is the head of winemaking at the Hacienda Monasterio. He and Carlos have produced some amazing wines that show the minerality of the soil and a deep fruitiness with a tiny bit of oak to highlight the grapes' own characteristics. Carlos took us into the cellars to sample from the barrels. We started with a 2009 Reserva that knocked our socks off. The tannins are balanced and the fruit just nicely ripe-it's going to be a fine wine. Carlos led us from barrel to barrel describing the elements of the grapes and vintages. We ended with a 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon that showed ripe fruit and amazing violet aromas.
From there we went up to the tasting room that overlooks the barrel room and has views of the vineyards to have a local chorizo and the terrific 2007 Hacienda Monasterio Reserva. We liked it so much that we bought some to take home-and a bottle to drink before we leave Spain!
Valladolid is charming and filled with interesting architecture and art. Our hotel, the Melia Boutique Recoletos, faces the Campo Grande Park with its winding paths and mature trees. Kids play ball on the grounds between us and the park and people walk past on their evening stroll. We missed lunch and had hoped to have an early dinner before bed-unfortunately our idea of early dinner and that concept in Spain are vastly different. We found a place we liked the look of and asked when dinner service began. It was 8:30. We slipped into our seats at 8:32. Our meal was delicious-green beans and artichokes to start and lamb in the local style for our main course. We walked back through the pedestrian streets, still filled with kids playing soccer and people chatting on street corners at 11:00PM. It's a whole different world.