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Jul 3, 2007 03:36 PM

Spanish whites

In response to a post on the SF board pretty much dismissing Spanish whites:

At its best, albariño can be delicious, something like a good Sardinian vermentino. Look for Fillaboa.

Ruedas are good values for everyday drinking, somewhat similar to New Zealand sauvignon blanc. I've recently liked the Lainos, Basa, and Naia.

Several wineries make nice floral-fruity proprietary blends: Gramona Gessami (muscat & sauvignon blanc), Torres Vina Esmeralda (muscat & gewurtztraminer), Rocaberdi (macabeo & xarello), Floresta (macabeo & chardonnay).

Txacoli, I've tried maybe ten and loved every one, though they've gotten annoyingly expensive.

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  1. Can't imagine how someone would dismiss whites from Spain! They're perfect this time of the year as the days heat up and lighter food is in order.

    I'm especially fond of the verdejos from Rueda and prefer them over the overly grassy and grapefruit flavored sauvignon blancs from New Zealand.

    Anyone tried a garnacha blanca??

    5 Replies
        1. re: vinosnob

          Ruedas vary a lot since they only have to contain 50% verdejo, or 85% if they're labeled "Rueda verdejo." The rest can be sauvignon blanc, viura, and/or palomino. Presumably the grapefruity ones have some sauvignon blanc.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Good point. But in my experience the (rueda) verdejo flavor profile shows noticeable minerality, balance and little-to-none green/grassyness as opposed to typical NZ sauvignon blanc. Bodegas Naia, which I really like, is a perfect example.

            1. re: vinosnob

              You can certainly find those among the highly diverse Rueda wines.

    1. Spanish whites can be hard to find if you aren't as fortunate as those who live near a Spanish Table store (our closest one is Berkeley, but there are others).
      They sold me a white wine called Vi d'agulla that has become my new favorite summer wine. Super dry (like grapefruit peel) with big muscat aroma (it says 'made from petit grain muscat'...doesn't sound Spanish, but...) that seems kind of weird at first, but the spritzy bubbles bring it all together. Odd for sure, but super refreshing in the hot summer weather.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Food_Dude

        Avinyo's Vi D'Agulla is one of my absolute favorite summertime whites. Drank quite a bit of it yesterday as a matter of fact... also noticed that no one's mentioned Penedes! Can Feixes makes absolutely fantastic Penedes table wine--minerally, high acid, and totally delish.

        1. re: HeelsSoxHound

          Vi D'Agulla is so fabulous - it is rather hard to find, but It is sooooo delicious. It has a very light bubble to it and the aftertaste is fruity and delicious. My absolute favorite white.

      2. All the wines mentioned here are great wines and many great values, but it's funny no one mentioned Spain's most famous white, Rioja. A well aged wine from a great producer like Lopez de Heredia can provide a profound wine drinikng experience at a fraction of the price of a comparble white burgundy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: warrenr

          I bought an aged Lopez de Heredia Gran Reserva white from Spanish Table and didn't find it very interesting, let alone worth the price. Maybe it was an off vintage.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            There can be bottle variation with wines that spend so long in the bottle, but they all seem to need a very long decanting (12 hours+, often) to open up. They only seem to make it in good vintages, or that's all I've seen at least.