This week,(if you haven’t already noticed that we’ve been shouting about it) Virgin Wines are hosting ‘Celebrate Spain Week’. So what’s your first thought when you think of Spanish wine? I’ll wager a fortune for most of you it isn’t crisp white wine… If it is – well done, you’ve found Spain’s little secret!
It’s no coincidence that Spain is becoming one of the go-to places to pick up not only some of the most vibrant and exciting whites out there, but whites that represent superb value for money too. We’ve scoured Spain to bring you their best value whites that will hopefully make you pause for thought before once grabbing that Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc everyone else is drinking. Or at least make you consider taking the chance to pop something less familiar and a whole lot more exciting in your basket!
The movement across Spain has been rapid. Producers have finally dropped the ‘old styles’ where oak was a key component that created wines with a more rustic and traditional feel. Instead many now take a more modern approach to winemaking, looking for freshness and purity of fruit, much more in keeping with the requirements of the today’s wine drinkers.
I get the feeling that more and more people, (thankfully) seem to be looking for the ‘lesser known’ when it comes to stocking up on crisp whites for the summer months. Folks are starting to hunt out the very best value for money, which is often not at their local supermarket. With that in mind I am going to say something quite bold…
Looks no further than Spain.
Look to today’s offer!
Today’s Spanish Whites Case showcases exactly what all the fuss in the industry is centred around with Spanish white wines! And me? I LOVE Spanish whites. So here are a few lines on my personal highlights of today’s hand-picked case (which is actually only available for the next 24 hours – be quick guys). You should give these wines a try before the sun shies away!
Finca Manzanos Seleccion de la Familia Rioja Blanco 2011 – I’ve been working and visiting this family owned bodega for the last 4 years and have been enthused by their young team, making a real name for themselves in a congested region where competition is nothing less than fierce. This is their take on modern White Rioja – a bright, ultra fresh pear and apricot scented white. Perfect for fish dishes and summer salads. A guaranteed find in my fridge door!
Atalaya do Mar Godello 2010 – Galician producers, just north of Portugal on the Atlantic coast, have been hammering out indigenous varietal-lead wines that have captured the attention of buyers all over the world. Outside of the almost household name ‘Albarino’, there’s a little known variety – Godello. It is making a charge for the top! Select fruit from some seriously old vines delivers a raciness with citrus and orchard fruit in combination with a richly textured palate. An amazingly mouth-watering aperitif, or try as a partner with a Warldorf salad.
La Multa Blanco 2011 – Garnacha Blanco is another of Spain’s lesser known white varieties now making waves. After spending time in South America and New Zealand, Master of Wine come winemaker Norrel Robertson, fell in love with Spain and bases himself in Calatayud, South of Zaragoza. In his own words, the collection of small growers and wild landscape was “simply awe-inspiring”. Not satisfied with sticking in one place, Norrel began exploring the country as a whole and unearthed a small plot of high altitude old bush vines with untapped promise. La Multa Blanco is the exciting result of his explorations. An immediately fresh wine that is altogether charming. Great with a roasted chicken or bbq’d fish served with green beans, olives and a garlic butter.
Irius 100ft Somontano Gewurztraminer 2011 – I really like this stuff! Irius comes from an amazing, brand new winery that is gravity fed with tunnels stretching 100 feet underground. A real feat of ‘no expense spared’ engineering! Vineyards are often tempered by the effects of large bodies of water, bringing overall temperatures down and maintaining freshness and balance within grapes. This is so, so, so important when looking to make modern whites. But it’s not a body of water that tempers here – it’s the altitude. Lowering daytime temperatures keeps the natural freshness in grapes, and that very freshness is at the core of the finished wine. There’s lightly honeyed fruit with rose petal and a touch of spice that you can’t quite nail down to a specific. The palate is light and vibrant with an excellent depth of fruit. The best food to enjoy with almost all Gewurtz is Asian cuisine. Bring on the Thai green curry!
That’s just a few highlights from today’s Spanish Whites Case, a great taste of what Spain has to offer in terms of refreshing whites. If nothing else, I hope this has inspired you to look outside the norm and jump into Spain for a glass of pure refreshment this summer.
You can follow Dave on Twttier @DR_virginwines