The new wave of white wines from Marco It captivates the specialized press, from which it continues to garner great praise. Eric Asimov, New York Times wine critic -needless to comment on the influence of the New York newspaper-, dedicates a Article a spanish whites made with native grapes, including those formerly known as Pasture wines from the Palomino grape Marco, although they are also made with other pre-phylloxera varieties such as cañocazo, mantúo, perruno….
Asimov includes two unfortified Palomino wines from Marco -Callejuela Blanco de Hornillos 2019 and Cota 45 Ube Miraflores 2020- in its artículo ‘From the Land of Bold Reds: 10 Superb Spanish Whites’ (‘From the country of brave reds: 10 magnificent Spanish whites’), which brings together a dozen “unique” Spanish wines, among which are wines made from Albariño, Godello, Treixadura grapes from the different Galician Denominations of Origin (Rias Baixas, Ribeira Sacra, Ribeiro, Valdeorras), together with a Garnacha Blanca and Macabeo del Priorat wine and two other wines made with Palomino, only in Galicia and Tenerife.
moved by the “intrigue” of try Spanish white wines, “unusual and captivating”, Asimov found this ten “fascinating” references, from Galicia, Catalonia, Jerez and the Canary Islands. The prestigious critic learned of the existence of these products thanks to the “forward-looking wine lists” from Spanish restaurants in New York, such as Enersto’s on the Lower East Side and Saint Julivert, on Cobble Hill (Brooklyn), and shops dedicated to Spanish wines such as Despaña Wines and More.
The undertaking was not easy given the limited presence of Spanish wines in New York retail stores, acknowledges Asimov, who recommends that consumers who come across these wines buy them why “Your rewards are plentiful, even to keep its memory in the back of your mind until you come across a great list of Spanish wines or stumble upon a wine shop that has invested in Spain.”
Apart from the grape varieties used in the production of these ten “fabulous” whites, Asimov points out that the uniqueness of these wines is given by other factors, specifically “the combination between the unique Spanish wine culture and the search for winemakers who look simultaneously to the past and the future, conscious winegrowers who apply ecological or biodynamic cultivation techniques”.
“These 10 bottles are excellent examples, but there are many more, including other wines from these producers”, among which he cites Muchada-Léclapart, the winery project of Alejandro Muchada and David Léclapart in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Marco de Jerez), whose wines he highly recommends alongside those of Goyo García Viadero (Ribera del Duero), Partida Creus and Parés Baltà (Penedés), MicroBio Wines (Rueda), Viña Meín Emilio Rojo (Ribeiro), Comando G (Madrid), and Recaredo (corpinnat ).
The ten Spanish whites recommended by The New York Times
Callejuela Blanco de Hornillos 2019 Pepe and Paco Blanco make excellent Sherry wines from small plots that they grow in the Jerez region of Andalusia. Recently, they started making unfortified white wines like this one from Palomino, the main Sherry grape. You can taste the influence of the albariza soil together with the flower, the yeast that forms on the surface of the sherry as it ages and provides its characteristic flavor. It is a pure, fresh and mineral wine, with that touch of sherry.
Zárate Rías Baixas Albariño 2020Eulogio Pomares, who makes Zárate wines, believes that most Albariños are intended for immediate consumption. He believes in making wines capable of aging. His technique of him? Using grapes from old vines grown in biodynamics, naturally fermented and aged on lees; the yeast residue after fermentation is complete, adding texture and character. This bottle may not last for years, but it’s definitely superior, bright, floral, and stony.
Cota 45 Ube Miraflores 2020I am fascinated by the wines of Ramiro Ibañez of Cota 45, who is exploring the terroirs of Jerez through a series of unfortified wines made from Palomino and other native grapes. Of course, Jerez is best known for sherry, but Ibáñez, the Blanco brothers and others have suggested an alternative multi-grape regional history with a focus on terroirs. Miraflores is a great introduction to Cota 45 wines, tasty and pure, very suggestive of the best Sherry wines, but different. Like I said, I’m fascinated.
Priorat Blanc Historical Terroir 2017Dominik Huber makes excellent Priorats and other Catalan wines under the Terroir al Límit label. Terroir Históric, his second label, is devoted to thirst-quenching yet intriguing wines that explore Huber’s conception of the region’s historic styles. A blend of Grenache Blanca and Macabeu that has been aged for six months in cement, this bottle is tart, herbal, and surprisingly subtle.
Laura Lorenzo Daterra Viticulturists Manzaneda Gavela da Vila 2019Laura Lorenzo explores old vineyards and traditions largely in Galicia, in northwestern Spain. Here’s another wine made from Palomino: Although the grape is best known in Jerez and southern Spain, Lorenzo found an old vineyard on sandy granite soil. He fermented the wine in large old chestnut barrels with a brief skin maceration, so this is a smooth, slightly tannic, fresh and lively orange cuvée. It has lingering flavors of nuts and flowers and an intriguing texture.
Nanclares y Prieto O Bocoi Vello de Silvia 2020It is an Albariño from Rías Baixas, although it is not called that. In addition to the wines they make from their own vineyards, excellent producers Alberto Nanclares and Silvia Prieto complement their production with grapes from other local farmers, as in this bottle. The grapes were crushed, fermented with native yeast and aged in traditional chestnut barrels. The result is a subtle, textured wine with stony, floral flavors that linger long after you swallow it.
Luis Anxo Rodríguez Vázquez Ribeiro A Teixa 2018Some of the most interesting white wines in Spain, like this bottle of Luis Anxo Rodríguez Vázquez, come from the Ribeiro area. Rodríguez cultivates small plots throughout the region, focusing mainly on the Treixadura grape and complemented by other native varieties (Albariño and Godello). This bottle comes from a single vineyard on granite soils. It is textured and mineral, with an attractive, almost grainy flavor that adds complexity.
The Lost O Pando Orange 2020Nacho González, from La Perdida, is a natural winemaker from the Galician region of Valdeorras. He seeks out isolated, abandoned vineyards on hillsides and grows them organically, bringing them back to health. This orange wine is made from Godello grapes and fermented in clay amphorae, where it ages with the skins for six months. It’s not particularly tannic, but the complex flavors of spices, flowers, herbs, and nuts are mesmerizing.
Send Atlantic Wines Palo Blanco 2020Evínate, a group of four friends, make wonderful wines from different parts of Spain, with a special emphasis on the Canary Islands. This wine is made from 100% Lístan Blanco, better known as Palomino, grown in an old vineyard high up in Tenerife. It is fascinating to compare this wine with the Callejuela Blanco, made from the same grape grown in the Jerez region, and the Laura Lorenzo Palomino, grown in Galicia. It has a completely different character, without the personality of the sherry. Instead, it has herbal mineral flavors, like nuts, that are subtle. Do not serve this wine too cold.
Do Ferreiro Rías Baixas Albariño Dous Ferrados 2018Gerardo Méndez de Do Ferreiro is another Albariño master. For years, he focused on two wines, the straight bottle and one made from old vines that aged beautifully. Now, his son, Manuel, and his daughter, Encarna, run Do Ferreiro, and a series of bottles from a single vineyard have been added to these elaborations, such as Dous Ferrados, a small parcel of organic farming on red slate soil. . This wine is richer than Zarate or Nanclares, with deep, floral, almost honeysuckle flavors.