Spanish Wine Tastings at Indaba
Although this eatery is seen as a daytime pit stop it is open on Friday and Saturday evenings. A cosy back room also facilitates extracurricular private functions and wine tastings, the latter being my reason for another visit one Monday evening.
Indaba collaborates with Fion Wines who supply and promote minimal intervention wines; that is, wines that are organic and/or biodynamic, where the grapes are often hand-harvested and where the wine expresses its terroir’s unique characteristics.
On this occasion, we are mostly tasting the 7 Cepas range of wines from the Carballal winery, available from Fion and on this evening curated by Víctor Ruiz a former sommelier at 21212. Cepas means 'strain' in Spanish and in this case, refers to both the vines and the family lineage at the helm of the winery in the Rías Baixas.
The first wine is an Albariño, Bodega Carballal, 2022, which is distinguished by mineral, aromatic stone fruit and saline qualities. The grapes are grown on vines that are tied to wire in trees above the ground which is an ancestral method. The wine complements the piquant tuna in voluptuous olive oil that Indaba patron and cook Rosana serves us.
Next is an unfiltered Albariño which uses indigenous yeasts on the grapes’ skins, (as opposed to industrially produced yeasts), for spontaneous pre-fermentation. This type of fermentation prizes character over consistency and can result in more rounded, complex flavours which is the case with Albariño, En Rama, Bodega Carballal, 7 Cepas, 2022. The wine is fresh but with an explosion of character. We eat octopus because as our host Rosanna says: “Octopus and Galicia, Galicia and Octopus”. They are virtually synonymous.
Both the website Wine Folly and Víctor say of our third wine “If you love Pinot Noir, you will probably love Mencia”.
I do love Vinos LOF, VI LOF Mencia, Bierzo, a symphony of red fruits, spices and florals. This winery is in the Castilla y León and the grapes are grown on old bush vines in a region that was mined for gold by the Romans. I am tickled to learn that I passed through here once upon a time while walking the Camino de Santiago. The wine is soft and generous with tannins; perfect to complement the creamy, slow-cooked cocido (stew) that Rosana serves us in terracotta dishes.
We return to the Carballal winery for our last wine, 7 Cepas Tinto 2019, where Mencia is paired with Caíño a varietal unique to the Rías Baixas. It is a light red typically served slightly chilled and at Indaba is paired with Tetilla, a mild, creamy cheese.
This cosy, convivial, evening was a thoroughly enjoyable insight into various aspects of Spanish food and wine. The next tasting is October 2nd and regularly thereafter.