The Winery

Noche con amigos en la Enoteca Qubel

Como bien dice mi madre “Si Mahoma no va a la montaña haz que la montaña vaya a Mahoma”. Esto fue lo que pensaron mis amigos el fin de semana pasado. Ya que EL VERANO DE LA VID me tiene ocupada de Viernes a Domingo por la tarde y por la noche, mis amigos decidieron hacer una visita a la Enoteca Qubél y así sorprenderme y hacerme disfrutar de su compañía.

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La noche estaba un poco fresquita pero eso no impidió que, una vez ellos terminaron su cena y yo de recoger, disfrutáramos de la noche de Pozuelo del Rey, de los buenos vinos Qubél y Mayrit, y de nosotros mismos sentados en las barricas de la calle, oliendo el aroma del campo y escuchando el único “ruido” de nuestra conversación.

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¡Gracias amigos por acompañarme el Sábado pasado y por ser como sois!

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 Ana Apples

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Returning to Qubel’s blog…

Returning to Qubel’s blog…

This summer has been really unique. Carlos and Pablo departed to the Arctic in an adventure flight with a single engine Maule airplane. The departure took place at Robledillo airdrome in Guadalajara on June the 20th.  Of course the winery, friends and clients were following their findings and evidences of the World Climate Change, already present in remote latitudes along the Arctic Circle. All of us were very anxious to have the daily report about the flights, knowing that weather is critical for an airplane like the Maule which it doesn’t fly high enough to avoid the incidence of meteorology. In so many occasions we were restless, when the communication with them wasn’t available.

In Madrid we took care of publishing their almost daily posts, see the Blog ( in Spanish language and ( in English language. Every post was related to news, comments and findings about the trip. This information came quite regularly depending if   they had Internet access on those remote sites. To keep the blog alive requires a lot of dedication and time, gathering the messages from these guys in the Arctic and placing the information in the right format and pictures in the blog that is why I got a bit behind with the Bodega’s Blog.

Until the end of July I had to devote myself to the flyers on their search for evidences of the World Climate Change, after all, the airplane had been christened with the name of Qubél.

On July 13th, I had a minor accident in the cellar and broke two small bones from my right foot; this made me wear a cast for a month.  Also the accident   held me back from my usual line of duties and caused an earlier return of Carlos, who was still in Canada finishing interviews and helping our Son Raul with the legal formalities to import the airplane into Canada.

In another sort of matters, surprisingly this summer we have experienced a continued activity in the winery, we have been receiving more visitors this summer than any previous years. The sales went up and export enquiries awoke from its summer slipping state.  Some of the Enoteca Qubél visitor’s groups came from Germany, Russia, Japan, USA, and others nationalities, and of course many visitors from the nearby big city of Madrid.

By the end of August, we participated in the promotional campaign named Food from Madrid held at Mercado de San Miguel. Along three days, we occupy a cart in the Central Market and we were offering in this unique area, our wines to tourists, locals and visitors. It was an interesting experience for us, we liked to contact directly with the public, and also enjoyed the lively breathe o and affable atmosphere among customers, merchants and the market staff. That was a good initiative from the Comunidad de Madrid.

Y en este mes de septiembre  nos disponemos a participar en la , de la Comunidad de Madrid, que tendrá lugar el próximo fin de semana en la  sita en la Casa de Campo.

And a late event placed us participating in a new fair at the end of September. This was the First Spanish Artisan’s Cheese Fair (I Feria del Queso Artesano de España) , held in Madrid and organized by the Community of Madrid.

The event took place at the Madrid Chamber of Agriculture (Cámara Agraria de Madrid)  located in the Casa de Campo.We were there with our wines doing a perfect pairing of wine and cheese. Sorry if you missed it.

I ought to mention that early this month, I escaped from work for two weeks with my friend Isabel Palomino, we went to her apartment at the beach side in Isla Canela. (I swear this was a doctor’s recommendation…) Isabel has a wonderful shop near the marine shopping center  called Canela en Rama (Cinnamon Sticks), it is a natural product’s shop, it is organic, and there  you can find all sort of candles, soaps, teas, chocolates, cosmetics, health supplements, artisan jewelry, fair trade … a real delight to your senses…

We had a marvelous time, not paying attention to the watch, which means having anarchic life. We walked the huge beach only meters away from the apartment, expend time playing with the tides, get absorbed by watching the sunset against the marsh. I personally appreciated the friendship with Isabel and with her friends Manolo and family; they are the owners of fantastic dining Restaurante A3, which is facing the marsh.  In  Manolo’s restaurant you can find the best sea fish offer. You can be sure the fish is prepared in the best cooking manner. Some of my favorite’s choices are the seasoned mackerel, the choco stews with beans and peas, rice dishes with lobster, red shrimps and an endless list of different offerings. Their advertisement is based in the fact that the best stew is made by knowing how to choose the best product.

Now Qubel’s winery is ready to face the fall, just hovering with the cool and moist air that we have been missing along this year…

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A new Wine Guide for the Spanish producers

A new interesting initiative is being rolled out these days in Spain: the Gilbert & Gaillard Spanish wine guide. The Gilbert & Gaillard publishing Group, managed by François Gilbert and Philippe Gaillard, has been publishing a French wine guide for more than twenty years now.

A few years ago, in order to follow the international twist of the wine market, they decided – and this is really an outstanding difference – to be much closer to the current and future consumer countries, giving a new focus to their publishing activity.

Their idea is to make relevant information on wine form the producing countries available to the consuming markets. In order to achieve so, they have undertaken actions at different levels.

First of all, they offer their wine guide not only in French, but also in English, Chinese and Japanese. 50.000 copies of these guides are distributed in their respective area of influence and an important part of them is directly targeted at wine professionals.

Second, they have strengthened their international team in Italy, the USA, Spain and Portugal. For these latter countries, they have appointed Diego Bonnel, a young professional who knows perfectly well the Iberian wine market. He has been developing a professional activity in the Iberian wine sector for many years. New appointments will take place for South Africa, Australia and New Zealand as well as for Argentina and Chile in the near future.

Third, they have launched a new magazine, the Gilbert & Gaillard magazine, in a Wine Spectator format, with four releases a year. 170.000 copies of it are distributed in more than 20 countries. The magazine rounds off the information that can be found in the guides, offering a more in-depth coverage of the current situation of each country. Moreover, the majority of articles published in the magazine on grape varieties or viticultural areas have an educational purpose and bring the news of each country closer to a reader thirsty for knowledge. We should not forget that many wine professionals and consumers alike are very thankful for the information given because it allows them to better understand what they sell and buy.

Finally, all the information provided by the guides and the magazine can be found in the above-mentioned languages in the following web site: This web site receives each month over 100.000 visits from unique visitors.

This new focus, oriented towards social media and clearly betting on their further development is interesting for the Spanish wineries since they clearly need to enhance their international presence – partly to face a depressed domestic market. The tools already described are completed by a monthly newsletter, sent to over 13.000 importers and distributors worldwide. They receive updated information on the new wines released and the general evolution of the producing countries.

There is even a blog which gives informed opinions on the Iberian wine market and pretends to give support for the wineries and producers who are looking for a different point of view, giving them new ideas to develop or strengthen their international presence. Don’t miss the web site and its blog en español!

You can get in touch with Diego Bonnel, the Iberia manager for Gilbert & Gaillard using the following email:

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The Infamous & The Ultimate, by Melissa Gardner

“Our export manager, Melissa Gardner has done a guest entry for our blog”:

What appears to be Jay Miller’s last tasting for The Wine Advocate place in Madrid at the end of November/beginning of December and we now have the reviews.

Some of you may be aware of the events surrounding this infamous, ultimate tasting—but if you are not, treat yourself to some intrigue and google “Jay Miller” and “Pancho Campo”.  Then follow the blog entries or Decanter News posts for a full picture of the controversy.

I am happy to note that the DO of Madrid was one that said “no” when confronted with the “offer” to pay less for a visit from Jay Miller via Pancho Campo.  In their haste to backpeddle,  they subsequently offered Madrid bodegas the opportunity to bring sample bottles and have them tasted at no cost for the Wine Advocate.  We quickly jumped at the chance.

And now we have our Parker reviews.  Some very kind words indeed for our wines—though the final scores are a puzzle to us compared with the descriptions.

But that’s all right.  Everyone in Spain has known for years that Parker doesn’t really understand Spanish wine.

Herewith, selections from our review in The Wine Advocate.

The 2010 Mayrit Organic White is 100% Albillo (an indigenous variety) stainless steel fermented and aged. Aromas of stony mineral, lemon, and baking spices leads to a vibrant, dry, concentrated wine with good balance and length. It is an excellent value meant for drinking over the next 12-18 months. It will pair nicely with raw bar.

Rating: 88

“The 2009 Mayrit Tinto Barrica (SOLD OUT) is composed of 70% Tempranillo and 30% Syrah that spent 9 months in French and American oak. Earthy minerals, brier, Asian spices, violets, and black fruits inform the nose of a savory, flavorful... wine that possesses good balance and medium length. Drink this pleasant effort over the next 5 years.

Rating: 86

The unoaked 2010 Qubél Revelacion is a blend of 65% Tempranillo, 20% Syrah, with the balance Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malvar. Violets, minerals, pepper, blueberry, and blackberry aromas lead to a juicy, easy-to-understand, savory wine that will provide enjoyment over the next 4-5 years.

Rating: 87

The 2006 Qubél Excepcion was made from 100% Tempranillo (CORRECTION:GARNACHA) aged for 6 months in French and American oak. Cedar, rose petal, spice box, and black cherry aromas set the stage for a straightforward, spicy, easy-going wine with good depth and moderate length. It has the balance and structure to drink well for another 5-6 years.

Rating: 87

The 2004 Qubél Nature is composed of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Syrah, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 7.5 months in French and American oak. Earthy minerals, game, lavender, and assorted black fruits

Rating: 82

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