Spain is now producing some amazing white wines and so is South Africa!
This case is a great introduction to some quality wines from Rioja, Galicia and central Spain together with two whites from South Africa – an award winning Sauvignon Blanc from cool climate Elgin and a fresh Chenin Blanc from Walker Bay.
This case comes complete with Tasting Notes.
Barton Estate Chenin Blanc 2017 Walker Bay, S Africa [1 bottle]
2017 was a good vintage in the Cape and we think this year’s Chenin Blanc is particularly good. It has some mineral complexity, which is normally associated with higher priced Chenin Blanc’s. Green apple, pear and honey on the nose. An attractive crisp, full-flavoured Chenin Blanc with a fresh zingy palate of pear and apples together with tinges of guava finished off with a flinty finish and excellent length. From family-run Estate near Hermanus and Bot River.
Dominio de Punctum Viognier 2018 (Organic & Biodynamic) VdlT Castilla [1 bottle]
(Gold Medal Challenge Millesime Bio 2019; International organic wine competition)
Intense peach aromas give way to an exotic palate of peach and tropical fruit, coupled with zesty acidity. A refreshing and delicious Viognier with a smooth, long finish and excellent balance. From the family-run organic estate of Dominio de Punctum in central Spain, led by the 9th generation of wine growers and now Bodega owners led by Jesus and Ruth Fernandez.
You could drink it on its own with nibbles but it is a perfect partner to a wide range of foods like shellfish, chicken, pork or rabbit dishes, tagines, mild Asian dishes and vegetarian dishes with sweet root vegetables.
Paso A Paso Verdejo 2018 (Organic) VdlT Castilla [1 bottle]
This is a great example of the lovely indigenous Verdejo grape of Spain, with attractive tropical fruit aromas and hints of lime and herbs. This leads you into melon and stone fruit flavours with a touch of citrus; it has a good balance of fruit and acidity. Grapes for this wine were hand-harvested from 34 year old vines; producing full flavours.
Paso a Paso meaning “step by step” defines the careful attention this wine receives at every stage of development. Made by Rafael Cañizares of Bodegas Volver. This wine is great with fish and shell fish, especially crab and prawns and it makes a nice aperitif.
Lopez de Haro Blanco 2018 DOCa Rioja [1 bottle]
Classic white Rioja, with aromas of pears, apples and herbs together with a hint of honeyed oak. The flavours combine greengage, melon, pear with just a hint of vanilla and butter notes; it finishes with a light citrus uplift. A well-balanced and attractive dry, lightly rounded, yet fresh white wine.
It has had three months ageing in French oak barrels. Bodegas Classica work closely with a network of small scale vine growers, providing grapes from mature vineyards across Rioja Alta, ensuring consistently high quality of grapes; the wine is made by Octavio Madurga.
Pazo de Mariñán 2018 DO Monterrei [1 bottle]
Made from mainly Godello, with some Treixadura and Albariño, this is a terrific blend of the classic grapes of Galicia. Apricots and citrus fruit aromas and followed by peachy, greengage and a citrus flavours. Overall the wine is smooth, complex, long and appealing.
Made at the Blanco Muñez bothers’ 20 hectares vineyard near Verin in North West Spain, close to the Portuguese border. Another wine that is perfect with all kinds of seafood or vegetarian dishes and great as an aperitif.
Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Elgin, S Africa [1 bottle]
(92 Points; Tim Atkin MW Special Report 2018)
This wine has a stunning, aromatic nose with fine mineral notes coupled with gooseberry and grapefruit aromas. The palate is so well balanced and elegant, with classic Sauvignon Blanc flavours of grapefruit and light gooseberry fruit and a very long, flinty finish.
Andrew and Rosy Gunn’s vineyards are located in the Highlands of Elgin to the South East of Cape Town. They are situated on a mountain plateau at 420 metres surrounded by the Kogelburg Nature Reserve where the prevailing winds off the cold Atlantic ocean, account for the layered nuances of their Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes ripen slowly here, often some 2 months later than other Cape vineyards. Winemaker Werner Muller is one of the most highly respected winemakers in South Africa and Iona wines continue to go from strength to strength.
“Texture is the missing link in Sauvignon Blanc” says Werner Muller, who used 4% Semillon and some barrel fermentation in this justifiably successful expression of the grape. Grapefruity, tangy and herbal with crunchy acidity and good weight. Drink 2018 – 2021. Tim Atkin MW: Special Report South Africa 2018