Adega Cachin Peza do Rei Blanco 2011
Blend: 70% Godello, 20% Treixadura, 10% Albarino.
The César Enriquez family is among the core group of founding growers of what was to become D.O. Ribeira Sacra, reconstituting their vineyard site to noble varieties from the early 1990s. Peza do Rei is a medieval walled vineyard and woodlands estate taking its name from the Kings of León, for whom it served as an income source and private hunting retreat. Within the extant albeit crumbling medieval walls are twelve acres of vertiginous, single-row slate terraces forming a perfect south-facing amphitheater on the Edo River tributary of the Sil. Varieties planted are Mencía for reds, Godello, Treixadura and Albariño for whites.
Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.
Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.