Marques de Riscal Rueda Blanco 2003
Wines of the Herederos de Marqués de Riscal has always been a leading and pioneering company in the wine producing sector. In 1858, it became the first winery in the Rioja to produce wines following the Bordeaux method and in 1972, it was the first winery to promote the Rueda Designation of Origin, where it produced its famous Marqués de Riscal white wines. Marqués de Riscal sells its products in over 70 countries and its wines have enjoyed the highest international distinctions as well as numerous awards and mentions in the media. Showcasing design, art, gastronomy, wine and the lush landscape all combine to create a memorable sojour… The vision of Frank O. Gehry was to create a 21st century château, an icon for one of the oldest wineries in the Rioja region, Vinos de los Herederos de Marqués de Riscal that connect the historic legacy with the modern art and wine nature. The building is a composition of rectilinear prisms that float above the ground by three super columns that support the building. The building rises nine meters above the ground and crosses the underground wine store of Marqués de Riscal to support itself with the three super columns. This allows spectacular views in all levels, to see the vineyards, Elciego, and the mountains of the Sierra de Cantabria as a background. Everything is wrapped in cascades of titanium (Canopies) colored in pink, gold and silver symbolizing the reddish hues of red wine, the mesh of the wine bottle of Marqués de Riscal and the capsule of the bottle
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!