Words: Olivia Ebeling
Photography: La Skimal
Ibiza is undeniably an island where money can buy you everything the heart desires. Some experiences, however, are priceless. And for wine enthusiasts, on May 19th, SOMM Wine Shop in Santa Gertrudis is serving up a very special treat that, for some of us, will truly be a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.
The specialist wine and spirit shop has established itself as a key player on the White Isle’s culinary scene in less than a year since it opened its doors, supplying many of the island’s restaurants, as well as discerning and knowledgeable private clients with fine grapes and artisanal spirits, many of which are organic and biodynamic. Through the impressive connections of owners Anders and Dimitri, the wine experts have managed to get hold of a selection of extremely rare vintage wines, of some of which there are only a few cases left in the world.
May 19th will see the knowledgeable pair open a selection of six beautifully maintained Rioja bottles, all different wines from the years 1962, 1964, 1966, 1970 and 1973, and including famed producers such as Muga, Monte Real, CVNE and Coto de Imaz. As connoisseurs will know, Rioja wines improve with age and develop an unmistakable elegance comparable to that of produce from the more famous Bordeaux or Burgundy regions. For 100 Euros per head, wine enthusiasts will be able to taste all six of these incredible wines, all immaculately preserved by a private collector who has stored them for decades in a cold cellar on the mainland, keeping them in outstanding condition. Even more excitingly, there will be a small availability for attendants to order some of the bottles.
The Icon Ibiza team was very lucky indeed to be invited to a special ‘preview’ event last week, which saw us sample a selection of wines from the same collection, spanning vintages from 1962, 1964, 1966, two varieties from 1970, and 1973. Held in the stylish surroundings of SOMM – located behind vegan restaurant Wild Beets – Anders and Dimitri were hosting the evening, their excitement about these rare treats visible. While both of them are undeniable wine buffs, their uncomplicated and funny way of talking us through each bottle made the tasting easy to understand even for those of us who have – as yet – limited knowledge about these rare grapes. With much enthusiasm, they explained the history of each brand and vintage, once again highlighting their impressive knowledge but also the strong relationship they have with their suppliers.
Learning that you can tell how well a wine has been preserved by the level the precious liquid reaches in the bottleneck, we marvelled at the dust-covered class, ancient labels and retro shapes of each year, aged but in perfect condition. Starting with the youngest wine, a blood-red 1973 Muga, which stood out for its sweet fragrance and clean finish in the mouth, we were surprised how – despite a little bit of funkiness in its flavour – very drinkable it was. We were assured by Anders that it would go amazingly with the fresh Bellota ham he had picked up from the market for the occasion.
Next, we tried a 1970 Coto de Imaz, which had a rich ruby shade and was smoother in taste with a considerable amount of fruitiness left in its aroma – hugely impressive, as we were told by the experts. From the same year, the 1970 Imperial was dry with an even cleaner nose, as easy on the palette as any bottle you might pick from the store today. It was followed by 1966 Vina Real from the ‘reserva especial’, which Anders described as a ‘sexy wine’ and indeed, we can imagine it going down a treat during a summer night’s dinner.
As we worked our way through the remaining vintages of a 1964 Monte Real, which caused outbursts of ‘immaculate’ and ‘divine’ from the small group of wine lovers in attendance, and – the final bottle of the evening – a 1962 Royal described as ‘one of the best of the decade’ and with approximately less than 200 bottles left in the world, we once again had to pinch ourselves at the incredible history and quality of these wines. Leaving a little bit tipsy but very happy indeed, we concluded that this would be one evening we would remember for a very long time, leaving not only with smiles on our faces but also some valuable knowledge gained.
The tasting on May 19th will take place at SOMM and will be led by sommelier Cruz Liljegren from Sweden, a wine guru with over ten years of experience in mature wines. The price is 100 Euros per head, which includes high quality nibbles and a wealth of knowledge about each of the six wines you will get to sample. Similar tastings can also be arranged at your villa or as a private event at SOMM or a venue of your choice starting from 150 Euros per person, depending on the selection of wines.
Further Information & Reservations
t: +34 971 197 213