Under the radar Spanish whites | Alistair Gibson
For me Spain is one of the most exciting wine destinations in the world right now.
However, in a country best known for it’s red wines it is it’s white wines that have perhaps most benefited in the modernisation that has taken place in both Spain’s vineyards and wineries over the last decade or so.
Spain has an abundance of indigenous grape varieties to offer and wine regions which have until relatively recently flown under our vinous radar and so here are three white wines to prove a point.
If there is one wine that perhaps best highlights the journey that Spanish white wines have taken it is Torres Vina Sol 2020 (widely available RRP £7.50 including Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, Co-op, Morrisons, Asda).
A wine that was first produced in 1962 by what is the most famous wine producing family in Spain, it was in many ways well ahead of its time.
This is not the most complex wine you will ever taste but other generic wines to be found at this price point should take note.
Made from parellada, the grape traditionally used to make Cava, with a little garnacha blanca, it’s really fresh with citrus and green apple notes, followed by a crisp, lemony palate with crisp, bright finish.
This is simple yet very satisfying white wine, it makes an easy aperitif and it would also work really well with simple chargrilled fresh fish or just a bowl of vegetable crudities and hummus.
Maruxa Godello 2020, Valdeorras (winesociety.com £10.95) is an lovely example of a grape variety that is just beginning to gain some recognition.
Godello is very much at home in Galicia in north-west Spain and this un-oaked wine offers apricot, pear and some tropical fruits on the nose, the palate is quite broad and nicely textured, with more ripe orchard fruit and some zesty acidity leading to a fresh, long finish.
Again this would work with some simple grilled fresh fish, or how about a Caesar salad?
Albariño originates in Galicia it has become a very fashionable grape over the last decade and is perhaps now Spain’s most recognisable white variety.
Paco & Lola Albariño 2020, Rias Baixas (Tesco £12) is a very modern take on this grape, apricot and peach leap out of the glass along with some lime zest, the palate is very fresh with crunchy, bright acidity and more ripe peach and lime before a long, lively finish.
Try this with a fresh crab and papaya salad, grilled chilli squid or freshly made sushi.