For many years Spanish growers shied away from their native grapes, instead favouring varieties adopted from France. Grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, which had more 'name' recognition, were in the spotlight whilst varieties like Palomino and Hondarribi Zuri were left in the dark. But now, times they are a-changing!
Slowly but surely, the last 30 years of Spanish winemaking has pulled its native grapes up by their bootstraps. Spain has undergone a viticultural revolution. Our own Jo Lory says it best, in her article highlighting some key grapes you should be drinking:
'A new generation of ambitious young winemakers have travelled widely, working harvests around the world. They've brought this knowledge home, and are busy exploring new regions, championing native grapes, and re-evaluating winemaking traditions to make deliciously distinctive wines.'
This mixed case puts focus on a selection of these brilliant wines, from innovative producers taking Spanish wine by storm. Taste the revolution of Native Spain.1 x Juan Antonio Ponce 'Clos Lojen', Castilla-La Mancha 2020Native Variety: Bobal
Juan Antonio's mastery of Bobal is unmistakable in this fantastic, plush red. The 'Clos Lojen' is sourced from six small, limestone-rich parcels in Manchuela; sitting at a lofty 800 metres above sea level, which in turn adds a lovely freshness and balance to the grapes. This is a smooth, fruit-driven red with notes of dark cherry and blackberry, with an enticing spicy finish.1 x Casa Castillo, Monastrell, Jumilla 2020
Native Varieties: MonastrellA gorgeous expression of Monastrell from one of the masters of this grape variety. Bold and spicy, with complex notes of red berry fruit, baking spice and a fragrant violet note on the finish. Soft tannins and bold flavour make for a fantastic winter red that packs a punch.
1 x Suertes del Marques '7 Fuentes', Tenerife 2019Native Varieties: Listan Negro, Tintilla
Suertes del Marqués refers to this wine as their “village wine” and it is a great introduction to their reds. The blend is dominated by the wildly aromatic Listán Negro, along with a small amount of Tintilla, yielding a juicy and expressive wine with aromas of red and black fruits, black pepper, ginger and smoke. Beautifully balanced in the mouth with ripe and round tannins and a lingering finish.
1 x Vina Zorzal, Sea of Dreams White, Navarra 2019
Native Variety: Garnacha Blanca
Think white Rioja meets the lofty vines of Navarra! A blend of Garnacha Blanca and Viura, fermented and aged in concrete eggs to add layers of weight and texture. This is a whole lot of wine for the price. The nose is richly aromatic, with notes of almond, tarragon and lemon. On the palate, it has enticing notes of mandarin and baked pear, with an oily texture and a long, lingering finish. A stunning wine that holds its own with big, bold flavours and can pair well with meat and fish alike.
1 x Bodegas Luis Perez 'El Muelle', Jerez 2020
Native Variety: PalominoThe Palomino grape has long been reserved for sherry, but winemakers are starting to make some delicious unfortified wines with it. This morish example is cool-fermented in stainless steel allowing the stone and tropical fruit to shine through. A portion of the wines is fermented in seasoned oak giving texture and a savoury touch.
1 x Bodegas Bentomiz 'Pixel Blanco', Andalucia 2019
Native Varieties: Pedro Ximenez, Moscatel de AlejandríaThis dry Andalusian white brings together the textural complexities of Pedro Ximénez with the aromatic intensity of Moscatel de Alejandría. It is bright and perfumed, with aromas of lemon, white peach, and blossoms. The palate gives more tropical fruits, with a smooth texture and mouth-watering acidity. The finish is long and fresh, with a slightly saline edge that captures the wine’s sense of place.