Spain is now producing some amazing white wines and so is England!
This case is a great introduction to some quality wines from Rioja, Galicia and central Spain together with a fresh white from Chapel Down in Kent, and a stunning lightly rounded white from Albourne Estate in West Sussex.
This case comes complete with Tasting Notes.
Lagasca Viognier 2017 (Organic & Biodynamic) VdlT Castilla (1 bottle)
(Gold Medal Challenge Millesime Bio 2018; 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 2017 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 2017 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.
Chapel Down Flint Dry 2017 Kent, England (1 bottle)
According to wine critic Matthew Jukes, this is one of England’s most delicious whites, year on year. It is an attractive, aromatic white with aromas of cox’s apples, hedgerows and freshly cut grass. The flavours develop with nectarines, light peach and elderflowers, these are coupled with a smooth texture and an impressively long finish.
Chardonnay leads the blend with Bacchus and several germanic grapes are also included. Each variety is whole-bunch pressed and vinified separately. 50% of the blend has a malolactic fermentation, before bottling in March 2018. Chief wine maker at Chapel Down is Josh Donaghey-Squire, who has a degree from Plumpton College and gained experience in Alsace, Champagne and South Africa.
Albourne Estate Cellar Selection 2017 West Sussex (1 bottle)
Albourne Estate Cellar Selection is one of four lovely still white wines produced by vineyard owner and winemaker Alison Nightingale. It is unusual in that it is the only one of her wines that has been exposed to the infuence of oak. It is made from Ortega and Chardonnay.
A dry, aromatic, lightly rounded white wine with honeyed tones. The full flavours are layered and complex, with peach and tropical fruit flavours predominating and a hint of refreshing citrus on the finish. An appealing, full-flavoured English white wine with impressive texture and flavours and quite Burgundian in style.
The Ortega grapes are whole bunch pressed and then fermented in second-hand French oak barrels to impart a hint of oak. It then rests on its lees and is stirred for several weeks to develop a richer style, and finally it is blended with Chardonnay. Albourne Estate has just under 11 hectares (30 acres) in gently rolling hills, near Hassocks in West Sussex, with stunning views to the Devils Dyke. Alison Nightingale also studied a degree in Viticulture and Enology at Plumpton College and found the vineyard site in 2009/10 and won the Trophy for UK Wine of the Year for her 2014 Bacchus.
Alison regularly wins medals at International Wine Competitions and, to quote, Matthew Jukes “these wines have flavours that are truly enthralling and unique; Albourne is set for stardom.” This wine would be good with fish and chicken dishes including those with sauces.