Posted by Matt on September 09, 2016
Jorge from Ripe Wine Imports shares three white wines from the some of the most notable wine regions in Spain, tonight from 6-8 PM!
When you think of Spanish wines, you probably think red. And for good reason, more and more Spanish reds are emerging as premium, world-class wines in a variety of styles. However, though white wines often end up playing second fiddle, their melody can be just as striking. This week, Jorge takes us through the often-overlooked, stunningly refined white wines of Spain's greatest wine regions: Galicia, Priorat, and Rioja.
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Galicia- One of the few wet regions in Spain, this region actually has more in common with Portugal's Vinho Verde region than its Spanish neighbors. Renowned for its zippy, brilliantly acidic white wines, they actually produce very little red, and Albariño is its chief claim to fame. It's particularly noted for its unique trellising system, hanging the grapes up to 10 feet high on granite posts to avoid rot in the damp climate.
Priorat - For centuries, this region was blighted with bulk production of low quality wines from co-ops. In the 1970s and 1980s, a few influential winemakers reclaimed the region and began to revolutionize its reputation around Garnacha, the powerful red grape. Priorat remains one of only two Spanish wine regions to achieve the highest level in the appellation heirarchy: DOQ (Denominació d'Origen Qualificada). However, the DOQ still allows for rare but exceptional whites from Garnacha Blanca and Macabeo.
Rioja - The other holder of DOQ status and for centuries the king of Spanish wine, La Rioja is best known for its extraordinary Tempranillo blends and exacting aging requirements. However, the whites of the region are highly regarded as well, from the Viura grape, known as Macabeo elsewhere in Spain and Macabeu in France. Often oak aged, they can show exceptional complexity and longevity.
Lagar de Costa Rías Baixas Albariño
Galicia, Spain - Albariño
$22 / bottle
This quintessential Albariño comes from sandy, coastal soils that make for perfect drainage. The family has been working the 50 year old vines for three generations to produce this aromatic white, marked by notes of herb, candied fruit, peach, and apricot. The finish is round and long, with cleansing minerality. Pair with seafood ceviche or white fish.
Cesca Vicent Cabaler Priorat Blanco
Priorat, Spain - Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo - Organic
$27 / bottle
Don't feel bad - we didn't know white Priorat existed either. Fifth generation winemaker Francesca Vicent, working a vineyard dating to the 15th century, creates a distinctive wine showing nuts, dried flowers, mango, honey, sweet citrus and vivid acidity. Aging in chestnut barrels provides a unique and stunning roundness to the wine. Try this with herbed salmon or pork.
Sierra de Toloño Rioja Blanco Alavesa
Rioja, Spain - Viura - Biodynamic
$20.75 / bottle
Located in the northernmost region in La Rioja, near Basque country, this single vineyard estate lies at one of the highest elevations in the region. Winemaker Sandra Bravo Marin uses the land to her advantage, and a delicate but powerful wine emerges, balancing white stone fruit, pear and Key lime with savory notes of olive, thyme, and a touch of toast.