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Bodegas Mauro was established in 1980 by Mariano García ( Vega Sicilia’s 40 year winemaker) in homage to his father. Enclaved halfway along the River Duero in the Castilian town of Tudela, the Bodegas Mauro philosophy from the very beginning has been based on producing age-worthy wines that are deeply rooted in the territory.
Bodegas Mauro was the García family’s first of the current trilogy of wineries. It was followed by San Román Bodegas y Viñedos founded in 1997, under the denomination of origin Toro, and completed with Garmón Continental, a project that began in 2014, in the heart of the Ribera del Duero region and with a winery in Olivares de Duero. Bodegas Mauro possess 90 hectares of vineyards in Tudela de Duero, of mainly the Tempranillo variety which is grown alongside the Syrah grape, which adds freshness and complexity. The new Cabernet Sauvignon plantings at more than 800 metres, guarantee a touch of acidity.
The plants are trained on bush vines on calcareous clay soil which is light, easy-to-work and filtering with a balanced texture and high pH. With very little water due to the immense evaporation and low rainfall, the vines suffer from major hydric stress, yet this is limited by good deep root development which allows them access to water reserves in the subsoil.
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!