Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine Blanco 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Abadía Retuerta Estate occupies over 700 hectares of terrain, and its name comes from the combination of two words that define and describe the territory: Rívula (river bank) and Torta (twisting, winding). Over 204 hectares of vineyards are spread out on hillsides ranging in altitude from a maximum 850 metres down to the southern bank of the Duero River. Most of the world's best varieties of soil are represented.
Designed by famous French enologist, Pascal Delbeck, in 1996, Abadía Retuerta winery is a surprising combination of tradition and modernity, recognized as one of the most advanced wineries in Europe. Currently, Angel Anocíbar Beloqui (PhD in Enology and Ampelography from the University of Bordeaux and International Wine Challenge 2005 Winemaker of the Year) coordinates the entire process, from the vine to the bottle.
Abadía Retuerta estate wines offer some very unique characteristics. They are full-colored wines, intense and aromatically clean, clearly structured, smooth to the palate and delicate in the development of their strength.
White grapes are used in two famous types of Spanish wine, Sherry and Cava, but we will limit this discussion to still whites. Let’s begin with perhaps the best known and most highly regarded internationally, Albariño . Produced in the region of Rías Baixas, just above Portugal in northwestern Spain, Albariño typically sees no or little oak and is medium to medium-plus in body. Aroma and flavor notes often include citrus and peach, often with subtle floral notes and a suggestion of sea spray, giving the wine a zesty feel. Often bottled as a single varietal, Albariño is sometimes blended with other indigenous grapes like Loureira and Treixadura. Try one of these Spanish whites from Forjas del Salnes.
Let’s look at a few other Spanish white wines. Godello also hails from northwestern Spain and presents a profile of grapefruit, minerality and a slight smoky quality. Enjoy a bottle from Bodegas Avancia. The region of Rueda, northwest of Madrid, is home to Verdejo , which makes refreshing, un-oaked white wines whose herbal vibrancy recalls Sauvignon Blanc . Protos makes a tasty version. Up north in the Basque region, we find the wine called Txakoli (sometimes called Txakolina). Pronounced “sha-ko-LEE,” it’s made from a local grape called Hondurrabi Zuri and is light, fresh, citrusy, dry … and with razor sharp acidity that makes it a fantastic partner with local seafood and tapas. Ameztoi Gertariako is a good Spanish white wine producer to check out.
The Penedѐs region, best known for the oceans of delicious Cava it sends to the world, also produces still Spanish whites, sometimes from international varieties like Chardonnay , and often from the same grapes used for Cava. These include Parellada, Xarel-lo and Macabeo. Avaline produces a fine example of Penedes white. Finally, we visit the Rioja region. While it is historically and internationally famous for its reds, Rioja also produces fine Spanish white wines. These are usually based on Viura (the local name for Macabeo) and make good everyday sippers, although some aged versions can be stunningly complex. A good place to start is the white Rioja from Bodegas Muga.
As you can see, Spanish white wines offer a vast opportunity for exploration!