Arinzano Hacienda de Arinzano White 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In the 16th Century, Mosen Lope de Eulate, a noble and the advisor to the King Juan de Labrit, chose the estate as the ideal site for the construction of his palace. By the 18th century, the property had passed to the hands of the Marquess of Zabalegui, who ordered the construction of a rural mansion where he could enjoy the natural beauty of the estate.
At the turn of the 19th century his children constructed a small chapel dedicated to San Martin de Tours, the patron saint of winemaking. This chapel stood as a final monument to the noble history of this viticultural estate as the pillars of Spanish nobility fell apart and the estate fell into disuse.
Today, the magnificent estate, designed by renowned Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, provides the inspiration for a new brand identity for the Arinzano Estate. It stands out based on the uniqueness of the terroir, its history, art and environment, and the exceptional potential to give life to wines that would be a reference of the highest quality and singular character. The most advanced and careful techniques are used to guarantee an artisanal treatment through the whole winemaking process, and we pursue a viticulture that not only respects, but actually favors the natural environment.
As a result, Arinzano is one of the few estates in all of Spain to be recognized with Pago status, and the first Pago in the North of Spain.
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!