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Spanish Spelunkers

Imma leave this here.

And start a less specific Spanish thread at the same time. I was considering making it a thread about Garnacha, but liked the name for this.

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In the last 18 months or so I have had a foray into Spain, after buying Sarah Evans book on Northern Spain I have tried Mas De Frades’ Rias Baixas, José Pariente’s Verdejo, several wines by Raul Perez, Veronica Ortega (terrifically elegant and fruity Mencia), Dominio de Bebei, and Daterra Viticultores reds made by Laura Lorenzo. I have also tried wines from Azul Y Garanza. Ishmael Gozalo has been another discovery.

Some have been very hard to find but my aim has been to drink something other than Rioja. I have found it all a refreshingly new adventure and shall continue to hunt down other small growers who are making old vine, low intervention wines.

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Spain has a great climate for low intervention wines. There’s also a renewed interest in very old Garnacha vines (such as the one I used to start this thread) which I adore.

I’d already added your recommended Mencia to my to try list. I’ve recently bought a case of https://anibaldeotero.es/en/product/vina-vieja-2016/ (delivered to a friend in Barcelona, who’ll be bringing it over for me) which also fits the bill.

Do you have much experience with wines from the Canary Islands? Tenerife particularly has some ones made with Listan Blanco (Palamino Fino) and Listan Preto/Negro (an entirely unrelated red grape) that from what you’ve described being after will be right up your street. There’s also some interesting Malvasia from very old vines in volcanic soils from Lanzarote that might be worth your while too.

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Spain with some very sandy soils has areas of pre phylloxera vines. Alas, I have no experience with wines from the Canary Islands and your question/suggestion is a timely reminder that I should pay it a vicarious vinous visit and track down your suggestions. Many thanks. .

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The Enviente Benje (both tinta and blanco) and the wines of Borja Perez are probably my favourites from Tenerife at the moment. I’m not sure how much of this is actually the case and how much it’s that those are the ones that you can get hold of in the UK.

The 2017 Artiface Blanco from Borja Perez and the red Benje 2017 (or 16 if you can still find it) are probably my suggestions for a good introduction to Tenerife right now.

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Many thanks, I will have a try!

For a UK based supplier - Vincognito currently carry both (all be it for an eye opening price as someone who usually orders them from Spanish websites!).

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Staying in Tenerife, I have greatly enjoyed a white (Vijariego Blanco) and a red (Negramoll), both made by Bodega Viñátigo, though this was nearly two years ago now, and have not tried them again since:

This is a good reminder to have them again, both tasted unique, with flavours all of their own.

I also greatly enjoyed wines from Finca Biniagual in Mallorca, which was one of the lovliest visit to a small winery I can remember. I particularly liked their varietal Mantonegro.

It’s been mentioned before, but Anima Negra is another fantastic red from Mallorca, though I only ever tried the (slightly) cheaper AN2.

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I’d always struggled a bit with mallorcan wines, even when I lived there. I’d have the local village white, but otherwise I (and almost everyone else) would usually opt for things from the mainland.

I think that the problem was mostly down to the locally grown international varieties being very expensive and not very good. Off the back of you mentioning good local varieties I’ve hunted a few down, and been very impressed with both Mantonegro and Callet. There’s probably also a certain amount of them having upped their game in the last 20 years, but still.

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That’s definitely the case, having spoken to a few winemakers there. I think the big (relative to Mallorca) bodegas still churn rather mediocre wines, but the smaller places, with younger wine growers/makers are as experimental and enthusiastic as some of the ones on the mainland.

Having said that, there is no reason why we should all like everything - and some grapes are not necessarily good just by virtue of being rare or unique to a place - but I don’t need to tell you that :slightly_smiling_face:

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Just ordered 3 bottles wine from Canary Islands. I will report back.

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Excellent! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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Tried the Arom in December and really liked it. Made me feel clever for drinking it. Now limited to 2 per member. I have ordered my full allocation of 2.

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Most of my Spanish wine drinking has been limited to red wine, but these two white wines both blew me away when I first tried them and both offer fantastic value for money. Something equivalent quality from Burgundy or Napa would be double the price.

The tondonia is pretty hard to get hold of as it sells out so quickly.

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The Tondonia Blanco is great. I’m also a big fan (when I say fan, I mean basically a cult member) of its younger sibling Gravonia, which is usually less than half the price when you can catch it.

I’ve never tried the As Sortes, but it sounds right up my street. Another added to the very long list.

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With you on the ‘As Sortes’. An Amazing expression of Godello if there ever was one! The price has been creeping up with every vintage, though… :grimacing:

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Veronica Ortega makes a terrific Godello

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I came across As Sortes in the New Year, just browsing various websites and from the various write-ups and never having tried Godello before (but salivating at the various superlatives deployed) I treated myself to a case. I paid £46.50 pb, delivered. Noblegreenwines.co.uk. The Louro at under £20, looks like pretty compelling value. Both even better value I subsequently spied at qwines.co.uk.

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Yes, I bought 6 bottles of the 2016 As Sortes. They were £37 each.

2 down. It’s really hard to keep my hands of the last 4 bottles.

The price rises are steep, but even at £45 (which is the normal price you can pick up the 2019 for) it’s still worth it.

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It most definitely is. And although less complex, it can still age nicely for a few years. I purchased some from Vinatis for £16 per bottle. Those were the days.

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