Michel Rolland in town for the launch of Rolland & Galarreta wines

Jun 14, 13 Michel Rolland in town for the launch of Rolland & Galarreta wines
Michel Rolland and Javier Galarreta

Michel Rolland and Javier Galarreta

Michel Rolland was in town recently to launch his latest wines, a joint venture with Spanish wine “entrepreneur”Javier Galarreta.  In a nutshell, Michel makes the wines and Javier sells them. They have chosen 3 premium wine regions, Rueda, Rioja and Ribera del Duero to show what they can do from the vineyards of the region.

Rolland & Galarreta range

Rolland & Galarreta range

Regardless of how you feel about M. Rolland’s wine making influence, the wines that he consults on are well made. He approached these wines  as wines to drink at the table. “Wine should be drunk with food…sometimes, we (in the trade) forget that people don’t try 70 wines at 9am…” He wants this range of wines to be food and consumer friendly.

dining room, Hispania

the tasting was held in the dining room of Hispania

The Rolland & Galarreta Rueda is made from verdejo coming from vineyards in La Seca, considered to be the premium site in the appellation. A full wine, heavy on the acacia flowers on the nose but having plenty of fruit on the palate and was indeed very good with the Spanish tapas, particularly the jamon and the Spanish goat’s cheese.

anchovies, delish with the Ribera

anchovies, delish with the Ribera

At first sniff the Rioja was full of oak, vanilla and toast for me but after a while, it calmed down in the glass and became much more contemporary or “modern” in style. It wasn’t hugely complex but was approachable and easy to drink, tasting much lighter on the palate. Michel thinks that Rioja has a lot of potential but that they need to change the rules to make drinkable wines. His goal is to make pleasant and elegant wines. His Rioja is made from 100% tempranillo, no garnacha in sight.

rioja

rioja

The Ribera del Duero was probably my favourite of the evening, a blend of tempranillo and merlot, it was full of blackberry and black cherry on nose, very fresh but luscious at the same time. A pleasure to drink. Michel told us that it was possible to produce quality merlot in this are and the proof was definitely in the pudding. The Ribera had great texcure but also smooth and silky tannins.

Hispania's shiny cutlery

Hispania’s shiny cutlery

An interesting evening with M. Rolland and his wines. He was much more down to earth then I thought he would be and his wines were not as “international” as I thought they would be, my preconceptions all shot to hell. The Rolland & Galarreta wines have just been launched in the UK and will be available for the on-trade from Mattew Clarke importers.

 

 

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