Month: July 2015

Moche Art from Ancient Peru. Gold, Myths and Rituals. CaixaForum Madrid

I’m looking forward to visiting this exhibition:

Moche Art from Ancient Peru. Gold, Myths and Rituals. Organised and produced by: ”la Caixa” Foundation, in cooperation with the Larco Museum of Lima (Peru). Curator: Ulla Holmquist, curator at the Larco Museum. Place: CaixaForum Madrid (Paseo del Prado, 36). Dates: from 3 July to 4 October 2015. This exhibition has been previously on view for the first time at CaixaForum Barcelona (Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 6-8), from 5 March to 7 June 2015.

800px-Mochica_headdress_Larco_museum Between the years 200 and 850 AD, a series of chiefdoms and kingdoms of great cultural complexity emerged in the valleys and deserts of what is now the northern coastline of Peru. Moche societies represent a truly singular example of cultural, economic and political development centuries before Inca expansion began. The first state societies in the southern hemisphere, they invented some of the most advanced metalwork and pottery-making processes in the world, as well as building veritable adobe mountains for their religious practices. And with all this, their population and production capacity increased enormously. Through 200 Moche artworks from the Larco Museum in Lima (Peru), the exhibition explores how the cultures that emerged in what is now Peru before Inca domination understood the world and organised their societies. The works featured include ceramics, jewellery and ceremonial objects made in precious metals, textiles, and ritual objects made from wood, stone, shell and bone. (Source: Press release Moche Art from Ancient Peru. CaixaForum Barcelona).

For more information click here and here.

(Picture source: Wikipedia Larco Museum. Mochica Headdress from the Gold and Silver Gallery)

New to me authors April to June 2015

new-to-me During this second quarter, I’ve read 7 books by new to me authors.

I’m glad for having read them all and I’m looking forward to reading more of their books. Amongst them two authors stand out in my view, James M. Cain and Karim Miské.

Please have a look at Mysteries in Paradise here to see what other bloggers have to say in this sense. 

Double Indemnity (Orion, 2005) by James M. Cain (A+)

The Human Flies (Mantle, 2014) by Hans Olav Lahlum (B)

The Hummingbird by Kati Hiekkapelto (A)

The Silence Of The Sea by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir (B)

The Asphalt Jungle by W. R. Burnett (A)

Into a Raging Blaze by Andreas Norman (B)

Arab Jazz by Karim Miské (A+)

OT: Pago de Valdoneje Roble

Another excellent wine from Vinos Valltuille is this 100% Mencía aged 4 moths in French oak barrels. I particularly prefer this slightly aged red wine to the un-oaked Pago de Valdoneje reviewed earlier, unfortunately this one has a quite limited production so far.

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  • Winery: Vinos Valltuille S.L. Calle de la Fragua, s/n. 45530 Valtuille de Abajo, León, España
  • Phone: + 34 987 562 165
  • Winemaker: Marcos Garcia Advisor: Raúl Perez
  • Website: www.vinosvaltuille.com
  • Brand: Pago de Valdoneje Roble Production: 2,700 bottles 
  • DO: Bierzo.
  • Type: Young Red Wine aged 4 months in French oak barrels
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Alcohol: 14 %
  • Grape Variety: 100% Mencía.
  • Vineyards: Located in slopes between 600 and 700 meters for the most part south oriented. The grapes for this young wine come from 85 years old vines.
  • Soil Type: Clay with extensive presence of sand
  • Bottle Size: 75.0 cl.
  • Price: It was a present but, if my information is correct, is available in Spain at about € 7.50  
  • My wine rating: 90/100 (A wine of very good to excellent quality) NEW!

You can read more about El Bierzo Wine Region at Iberian Traveller.

OT: Pago de Valdoneje

The red wines from El Bierzo, made mainly with Mencía, an autochthonous grape variety, are one of the Spanish red wines that interest me most maybe because they are not very well known outside their production area. Among its wineries, thanks to María Jesús, my lovely sister-in-law, I’ve come across this family of wine growers and producers that is well worth discovering.

  • 20150627_145629 Winery: Vinos Valltuille S. L. Calle de la Fragua s/n. 24530 Valtuille de Abajo, León, España 
  • Phone: + 34 987 562 165
  • Winemaker: Marcos Garcia Advisor: Raúl Perez
  • Website: www.vinosvaltuille.com
  • Brand: Pago de Valdoneje Production: 70,000 bottles 
  • DO: Bierzo.
  • Type: Young Red Wine
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Alcohol: 13.5 %
  • Grape Variety: 100% Mencía.
  • Vineyards: Located in slopes between 600 and 700 meters for the most part south oriented. The grapes for this young wine come from 80 years old vines.
  • Soil Type: Clay soil, with sand and iron.
  • Bottle Size: 75.0 cl.
  • Price: It was a present but, if my information is correct, is available in Spain below € 6.00.
  • My wine rating: 90/100 (A wine of very good to excellent quality) NEW!

“Vinos Valtuille produces year in and year out one of the best un-oaked, fresh Mencías. A real champion in the local bars of El Bierzo, The 2013 Pago de Valdoneje is a young, juicy, fruit-driven, un-oaked Mencía from very old vines on clay and sandy soils with clean aromas of red fruits and licorice, perhaps a little lighter in this vintage but with exceptional freshness and balance. It is really pleasant and easy to drink. Great value and one of the best in its category”.  90 points Wine Advocate. (Source The Spanish Table)

Vinos Valtuille is a small family winery and Marcos García Alba one of the growers and winemakers of latest generation from El Bierzo, who took the challenge in early 2000, of making quality wine, making a big investment in facilities and technical resources. Meticulous self-taught person, he takes care of the vineyard as always has been done in Valtuille de Abajo, where he has its centenary vines. The 12 hectares planted by his grand father are enough for his aspirations. He makes wines only from his own grapes and he defends the idea of small winery as a means of product quality. Marcos is in charge of the vines and the winemaking but in the winemaking he is advised by his friend the famous winemaker Raúl Perez. They have been neighbours all their lives in Valtuille de Abajo where they have grown up together. His brand is Pago de Valdoneje and besides this red young wine he also produces a Pago de Valdoneje Roble (aged 4 months in French oak barrels) and PV Viñas Viejas (aged 11 moths in French oak barrels from vines over 100 years). He exports his wines to different countries all around the world. (Source: International Cellars and Vinos Valtuille website),

CWA International Dagger

The winner of this year CWA International Dagger was announced yesterday evening during a dinner ceremony at the Hotel Russell in London.

The award went to Camille, Maclehose Press, 2015. First published in French as Sacrifices in 2012 by Pierre Lemaitre. Translated by Frank Wynne, 2014.  (Source: CWA) My review is available here.

For more information about other award winners see Dining with Daggers (The Rap Sheet).

Congratulations to the winners.