'Palo Blanco' refers to a vineyard zone in the Tenerfian village Los Realejos, which is widely regarded to be one of the finest sources of Listán Blanco (Palomino) in the world. Fermented in concrete without any malolactic fermentation, the Palo Blanco retains its sense of place, which is that of a volcanic island: focused, saline and with thrilling energy. A unique, exciting wine full of energy and abundant ageing potential.
'There is a smoky and spicy, flinty touch and a vibrant palate with a spark of acidity that makes the wine very long and tasty. This now plays in the major league.'
- Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
I was blown away by a magnum of the white 2020 Palo Blanco I drank a few days before I tasted it again with its creators. Palo Blanco is the name of a zone in the village of Los Realejos in Tenerife, one of the finest locations for Listán Blanco (Palomino). In 2020 they used the grapes from five plots (they started with only one and 6,600 bottles in 2016), which means they have been able to increase volumes and, thankfully, also quality! The new plot is at 850 meters, so the grapes bring more freshness. These are always the last grapes they pick in Tenerife, even in an early harvest like 2020. The destemmed grapes were pressed and the juice let to settle for 12 to 24 hours and then fermented with indigenous yeasts in concrete without temperature control. Sixty-five percent of the wine matured in 2,500-liter oak foudres and the rest in neutral 350-liter barrels with lees. There is a smoky and spicy, flinty touch and a vibrant palate with a spark of acidity that makes the wine very long and tasty. This now plays in the major league. 2020 saw the earliest harvest ever for this wine.
In his fantastic book 'The New Vignerons', acclaimed wine writer Luis Gutiérrez of robertparker.com suggests that the future of Spanish wine lies in its past. The producer who leads the charge with this in mind, is undoubtedly Envinate; a collective of four winemaking friends currently enjoying near-mythical levels of success.
Envínate (aka wine-yourself) is the brainchild of Laura Ramos, Jose Martínez, Roberto Santana and Alfonso Torrente, four friends who met while studying oenology at the University of Miguel Hernández in Alicante. Their highly sought after wines hail from single vineyards in some of Spains most historic regions, helping to re-establish the reputations of places like Ribeira Sacra and the Canary Islands. Their winemaking is stripped right back to basics, pulling on simple (yet very effective) techniques of the past to craft explosive, exciting wines adored the world over today.
"From landscape to ways of working, everything seems to have been frozen for a hundred years." Luis Gutiérrez writes for robertparker.com in 2016.
Right now there are four different projects under the Envínate umbrella: Lousas by Alfonso Torrente in Ribeira Sacra, Táganan by Roberto Santana in Tenerife, T. Amarela in Extremadura and Albahra in Almansa both by Laura Ramos and José Martínez. These are some of The Sourcing Table's most unique and special wines, and some are only made in tiny quantities, so grab them while you can!
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