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About This Wine
The rebooted whites of Madrid (and, for example, the white wine of Alfredo Maestro in Ribera) have opened our eyes and palates to one of Spanish wines' best-kept secrets, the Albillo. However, it won't stay a secret for long. Alongside its Garnachas, Bernabeleva is also gaining distinction for its wildcard whites, which are based on this enigmatic, but seldom seen grape. Sumptuously textured, earthy, saline, and slow to unfurl in the glass, Isart's single-vineyard Cantocuerdas Albillo is a thrillingly savoury and evocative example, while the early drinking, entry-tier Navaherreros is blended with 40% Macabeo, which laces the full-bodied, mineral Albillo with a zesty, racy lift. The wine's Albillo fruit is drawn from the estate's original plantings in the Cantocuerdas vineyard, a sandy, granite-rich, highland terroir of this magical mountain country. The Macabeo comes from more recently acquired sites. The Albillo vines are 85-100 years old while the Macabeo is around 25 years. Both varieties are harvested by hand and each sees a short period of skin contact before wild yeast fermentation in a mixture of large French and Austrian oak and stainless steel. It's a highland-scented wine whose aroma blends scents of Chartreusean herbs with citrus pith and white blossoms. The palate rolls out with well-pitched vinosity, its pulpy, robust mouth feel leavened with vibrant acidity before a salty, lip-smacking close. It has the breadth and texture to work with roasted birds and rabbit dishes, and should be delicious with south-east Asian curries and rich shellfish.
|Albillo Real Macabeo
Wines of Spain
With 2.9 million acres of land planted in wine grapes, Spain is the most widely planted wine producing nation and second largest producer in the world. Many styles of wine are produced in the country most of which are based on native grape varietals.
The two most famous regions are Rioja and Ribera del Duero for their Tempranillo production. Rioja Tempranillo (the classic) will be lighter and fresher with red fruit flavours as compared to those from Ribera del Duero that are often deep purple, higher in alcohol with more tannins and intense black fruit character. Rioja is also known for producing Garnacha (Grenache), as well as rich, nutty whites from the indigenous Viura varietal.
In the Catalonia region, Spain is recognized for making a sparkling wine in the traditional method but using native grape varieties. This is called Cava. Priorat, a subregion within Catalonia specializes in making still red blends of Garnacha, Carignan and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon in a bold and full-bodied style. Together with Rioja, wines from Priorat have achieved DOCa/DOQ status signifying their quality.
Sherry is Spain’s famous fortified wine which can either be completely dry, lusciously sweet or somewhere in between. This is made in the southern region of Jerez.
Other notable Spanish wine styles include: Monastrell (AKA. Mataro/Mourvèdre), produced in the Jumilla region and refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo from north western Galacia.