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.In the Case1 x Suertes del Marques, Trenzado, 2021Native Variety: Listan Blanco (Palomino)
This captivating white takes its name from the trellis system unique to the Canary Islands: “el cordon trenzado”, where the vine branches are plaited together and can grow to several metres long. Wild, distinctive, and thirst-quenching with a beautiful chalky texture, the best whites from Tenerife are often compared to Burgundy. With citrus fruit, subtle floral notes and smoke it's a reflection of the basalt soils on this volcanic island.
1 x Vina Zorzal, Sea of Dreams White, 2019
Native Varieties: Garnacha Blanca / Viura
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, with generous notes of almond, tarragon baked pear and lemon.
1 x Coto do Gomariz, 'The Flower and the Bee' White, 2021
Nativey Variety: Treixadura
'The Flower and the Bee' aims to introduce native Galician grapes to a wider audience. This is a lovely full-flavoured white wine, with powerful flavours of herbs, pears and white peach. Real presence, but not at all heavy.
1 x Casa Castillo, Monastrell, 2020
Native Variety: Monastrell
A 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 Bodega Lanzaga, Corriente, 2020
Native Varieties: Tempranillo / Garnacha
A delicious, modern Rioja that's smooth and fragrant, brimming with ripe berry fruit, spicy oak and delightfully earthy tannins. It's a joy to drink on its own but equally works incredibly well with richer dishes.
1 x Dominio del Aguila, 'Picaro del Aguila' Tinto, 2020
Native Varieties: Blanca del Pais / Bobal / Tempranillo / Garnacha
The grapes come from north-facing vineyards, the cooler exposition helps temper the hot climate, giving a fresh and vibrant style. Juicy aromas of blackberry, blueberry and dark cherry, vanilla and sweet spice waft temptingly out of the glass. Your first sip won't disappoint, it's smooth and silky with seriously good balance and fine chalky tannins.
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