Tasting with André Tamers of De Maison Selections
Gil Avital, the Director of Service and Beverage at Tertulia, with André Tamers
A few weeks ago, we bopped around the city with André Tamers of De Maison Selections, visiting a handful of select accounts to taste through a few of his summer time selections. Beginning at Boqueria Chelsea with Ron Morgon, followed by Casa Mono with Hector Perez and then Tertulia with Gil Avital (pictured above), we tasted wines from Galicia, Basque Country, Catalunya, Rioja and Penedès, while André talked about his relationships with each of the winemakers.
Amizade Godello 2010
Meaning “friendship” in Galician, Amizade is the result of a collaboration between the winemaker Gerardo Mendez of Do Ferreiro and Toni Mendez, a Monterrei viticulturist. “It took me three years to get 20 cases,” said André and laughed, “now we’re an important buyer.” Of Mendez, he said, “He helped me with the keys to Galicia– mountain country where you’re not ‘in’ until you’re really ‘in’…and he helped me discover D. Ventura.”
Desiring a “light, easy daily wine”, André said, “We wanted something family style, not co-op.” And so came Amizade Godello from Monterrei, crafted with Godello cuttings from a “pre-phyloxerra parcel of centennial vines” and fermented with native yeasts, automatically becoming “one of those wines that’s the first to finish at the table.”
Do Ferreiro Albariño 2011
Founded by Gerado Mendez in 1973, Do Ferreiro consists of 10ha that are organically farmed (non-certified) in Salnes, in Rias Baixas. Fermented with native yeasts, the fruit here comes from 5ha that have been in his family for generations, from plots that sit between the Atlantic and Castilla y Leon. “I get pure ocean,” said Patty James as she tasted.
André Tamers with Ron Morgan of Boqueria Chelsea
Ameztoi Stimatum 2012
“It took me ten years to become friends with Ignacio [Ameztoi],” said André as he uncorked the bottle. “He called me this year and said that he was going to make a red, and I laid a few ground rules, [including] no wood. We brought in one pallet to start and everyone wanted to buy it without tasting it!” Made from 100% Hondarribi Beltza and fermented with indigenous yeasts, this is red Txakolina. “It’s very disco,” he added, “very lambrusco.” And now that our final shipment of the 2012 has arrived, we empathize with André when he says, “The little, easy-to-drink wines, it’s like pulling teeth to get them!”
Joan d’Anguera “Altaroses” 2011
“I’ve been accused of being the anti-oak guy,” said André. [But] “I’ve known these guys since they were 13 and 14. I said, ‘If you reuse the barrels, you can save money.’ Then they went Biodynamic and created this little wine called ‘Altaroses’…I didn’t realize I was sort of the older brother here,” he added and laughed.
From another great, longstanding relationship in Monsant, comes “Altaroses” made from 15-40 year old Granatxa that’s been fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged for one year on cement talks and old barrels. “There are no pump-overs, no extraction,” said André, “just beautiful flowery components.”
André with Hector Perez of Casa Mono
Conde de Hervias Mencos 2011
“Our Rioja is all about site,” said André. “It’s from Torremontalvo and we’re making this site available through Mencos. The Spanish government doesn’t allow you to put the vineyard on the label, but he gets around it by putting it in relief.” From non-certified biodynamic vineyards that were planted 40 years ago, this unoaked Tempranillo comes from clay calcarious soils. “2011 is a dry vintage,” added André, “while 2010 is fruity.”
Remelluri Reserva Rioja 2009
“In 1999, Telmo [Rodrriguez] leaves, and then returns to his family [in 2009]. He’s controversial. He’s a good looking guy who gets in a lot of people’s faces,” said André. “Remelluri is just packed with talent.” When he returned to his family’s winery, he thought that his father was making too much wine, and so he decided to move toward estate fruit only, while exploring the lieu-dit sites in Rioja. “You feel the battle between the red and the black fruit here,” said André about the wine, much like Telmo himself of whom André writes: “He is changing the dialogue from one of aging methods, and even varietals, to one of sites.”