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The Wines of El Bulli

El Bulli has what one would call a “serious” wine list, which means that it isn’t only a long list but also very diversified one. From French Champagne to German dessert wines, everything that could possibly fulfill a wine-drinker’s dream is there. For us though, it was clear that we were solely going for Spanish wine specialties. How could one visit a restaurant in Spain, and then opt for, let’s say, French wines?

And since the wine-list was too long and my knowledge of Spanish wines far too limited, we gave the young sommelier with the “El BulliVi” badge on the jacket a wildcard. Our only whish was to have a dry Sherry as a starter and a sweet Sherry at the end (Yes, don’t think I didn’t know anything about Spanish wine seither! )

So we started with a glass of Manzanilla La goya from Delgado Zuleta (D.O. Manzanilla de Sanlucar). It reminded me a bit of aged dry Riesling, but still very different. It nearly had a salty edge to it, which is actually a good thing for an appetizer. (Sherry wines are a whole different science, gotta work that knowledge out one day since there must be plenty of things to discover still)

We then had a glass of Brut Nature Gran Reserva from Agusti Torello from Cava which was quite elegant.

Next, we had a first still white wine: Emilio Rojo 2005 from D.O. Ribeiro, a cuvée of five domestic varietals from Galicia which are Treixadura, Albariño, Loureiro, Lado and Torrontes. I remember it to be a very elegant and smooth wine with a nice balance (I didn’t take any serious notes unfortunately).

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Our second bottle of white wine was a Nun Vinya dels Taus 2005 from Vinifera D.O. Penedes. It is also made from a domestic grape from Penedes called Xarello and the winery only cultivates a tiny 0.9 hectare parcel with that varietal. It was aged in New and old oak barrels and hence showed a quite oaky nose, which normally is not my preferred style. But together with the food, the wine was quite a good match.

Naturally, with the hare and lamb on the menu, we also had a glass of red wine. A 2004 Corullón from J. Palacios in the D.O. Bierzo. It was fruity with a hint of wood only and also a good pinch of freshness. A little astringency though showed us that it was still a bit too young to be drunk.

The not too sweet Moscatel MR 2006, also labeled as “Mountain Wine” from the very famous Telmo Rodriguez stems from the D.O. Malaga was a good pre-dessert wine.

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Finally, a terrific glass of Oloroso Dulce Matusalem from Gonzalez Byass closed the meal in a superb way.

PS: If you ever plan to have dinner at El Bulli and rather chose the wines on your own, it is a good advice to check the online wine list beforehand. You won’t have that much time at the restaurant, especially with that big of a list.

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