Day: July 8, 2015

OT: Gamonéu Cheese

There are more than 50 varieties of cheese in Asturias, 4 of them with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in Europe (Cabrales, Afuega’l Pitu, Gamonéu and Casín), and another one is in process of obtaining this European distinction: Los Beyos. I’m a cheese lover and Gamonéu is among my favourites.

788px-Gamonedo_a Gamonéu or Gamonedo (PDO) is a ripe, high-fat cheese, with a natural rind, made from cow’s milk, sheep’s milk and goat’s milk or from mixtures of two of these three types of milk. The cheese is lightly smoked and has a light bloom of greenish-blue penicillium close to the edges. The production area is in Asturias, in northern Spain, in the districts of Cangas de Onís and Onís. (Source: Cheese from Spain).

There are two varieties of this cheese depending on the location where it’s made and seasonal production. On the one hand, Gamonéu del Puerto is made from June to September in the caves of Los Picos de Europa and Cangas de Onis, on the other hand, Gamonéu del Valle is made in small dairies in the lower areas of both these councils all year long.

The attached picture has been taken from Wikipedia Commons.

OT: Laya 2014

  • 20150707_205121 Winery: Bodegas Atalaya. Paraje Atalaya. Ctra. Nacional 330. Km. 96. 02640 Almansa (Albacete) ESPAÑA. Bodegas Atalaya was founded in 2007 by the Gil Family of Jumilla. The prominent grape variety in Almansa is Garnacha Tintorera –Alicante Bouschet- along with Monastrell.
  • Phone: +34 968 435 022
  • Winemaker: The technical management is a responsibility of Frank Gonzales, an Australian oenologist of Spanish origin. 
  • Website: bodegasatalaya.es/en/
  • Brand: Laya
  • DO: Almansa
  • Type: Young Red Wine aged 4 months in French oak barrels
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Alcohol: 14,5 %
  • Grape Variety: 70% Grenache Tintorera -or, as it is known outside Spain, Alicante Bouschet- and 30% Monastrell (aka Mourvèdre)
  • Vineyards: Bodegas Atalaya has 25 ha. of vineyards in the area of Almansa. The vines grow at an altitude between 700 and 1000 metres above sea level 
  • Soil Type: Limestone
  • Bottle Size: 75.0 cl.
  • Price: around 5.50 €
  • My wine rating: 90/100 (A wine of very good to excellent quality) NEW!

The geographical area covered by the Denomination of Origin Almansa is a plateau that touches the borders in the east, across the so-called Almansa corridor, to the old Kingdom of Valencia. This area has marked the transition from the lands of Levant to the province of Castile for centuries. The main difference between the territory of the Denomination of Origin Almansa and the área of Levante, is the great difference in altitude, reaching from 400 meters above sea level in the town of Fuente La Higuera, up to 700 meters above sea level in Almansa. The wine production area of the D.O. Almansa includes lands and plots located in eight municipalities, with more than 7,000 acres of vineyards.

Atalaya winery is a project of Gil Family Estates with the participation of the López Family, from Pilar de la Horada, in the DO Almansa, placed in the east of Albacete region, between Alicante and Murcia, in the transit zone between the central Spanish plateau and the Mediterranean Sea. The vintage age of 2007 was the first one of the Atalaya Winery and, since that moment, they have been improving the facilities of the winery and researching about the Garnacha Tintorera and Monastrell grape varieties.

The Wine Advocate – “The 2012 Laya, a blend of 70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell, has a superb bouquet of pure dark cherries, blackberry and incense that would normally grace a wine far more expensive. The palate is medium-bodied with layers of succulent black fruit that is neatly entwined with the subtle French oak. It is not a complex wine, but it is supremely well-crafted for the unbeatable price. Excellent.”

A great value, Laya 2014 is more complex than one might think. A fully enjoyable Mediterranean red made from Grenache Tintorera and Monastrell. (Source: enterwine.com)

Another excellent wine by Gil Family Estates (Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares). I tasted it last night, slightly cooled, with a Gamonéu cheese. A superb pairing in my view.

Read more about Gamonéu here and here.