Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine Blanco 2018
The sun-drenched, sandy and pebbly plot it hails from, ensures the almost perfect ripening of each crop, resulting in an original and surprising wine, bright and straw-colored with golden hues. Its’ nose is complex, intense and fruity; reminiscent of other grape varieties, with hints of pineapple and grapefruit, toast, butter, and bakery.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2018 Le Domaine is no longer the only white in the portfolio, as it's now joined by a Godello-dominated cuvée that will carry the historical name of Cuvée Palomar. They have been making whites for 21 years, first in an experimental way and commercially since 2011. This is mostly Sauvignon Blanc, but from 2008, they started regrafting other white varieties like Verdejo or Godello that could add complexity to the blend, and there is a higher percentage of these other grapes in the blend, as the vines become more balanced. 2018 was unusually cold and wet, and they started harvesting the white grapes on September 20th and finished harvesting the last red grapes on October 25th. The grapes achieved very good ripeness, and the wines have good freshness and a gentle structure, as can be seen here, where the fermentation and aging in oak didn't mark the wine that much.
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!