Anima Negra Quibia 2016
This wine pairs beautifully with bay scallops, langoustines, mussels in a butter broth, and seafood paella.
Ànima Negra was founded in 1994 when two self-taught friends — Pere Ignasi Obrador and Miquelàngel Cerdà — decided that the wines of their native Mallorca weren’t reaching full potential. Taking advantage of some unused milk tanks at the dairy farm owned by Pere’s family, they made two barriques of wine from Callet grapes (a native Mallorcan varietal) they’d purchased from local farmers. The initial results were so encouraging that the friends decided to form a partnership and continue pursuing their newly found passion for wine. Situated in the southeast of Mallorca, Ànima Negra winery produces its wines on the old country estate of Son Burguera, close to the town of Felanitx. The buildings date back to the 13th century, and contain a traditional winemaking area, which historically was used to supply wine for locals living on and near the estate. Ànima Negra sources its grapes from more than 135 carefully selected parcels of land that the partners either own or control. Virtually all of these parcels are within a six-mile radius of the winery, and most of the vines are 50 to 85 years old. Natural farming is prioritized at Ànima Negra. The vines are dry-farmed and are not fertilized, helping to ensure they produce small, concentrated fruit. Chemical insecticides and herbicides are avoided in favor of biodynamic practices, and indigenous yeasts are used for almost all fermentation.The resulting unique, elegant wines have garnered worldwide praise, and earned a loyal following among fine wine enthusiasts throughout the world. In 2010, the Slow Food Movement honored Ànima Negra with induction into the Ark of Taste.
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!