Off the Vine

The New Spain


 

Spanish wine has changed dramatically in the last decade. While much attention has focused on Spain's reds, it is their white wines that have undergone the most radical transformation. Not too long ago, many imported whites were heavy and resinous and tasted oxidized. A new generation of winemakers have changed all that. Instead of trying to produce trendy international varietals such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, they’ve looked to the past to resurrect indigenous varietals such as Treixadura, Godello, and Loureira in a modern style that emphasizes freshness and clarity. The next generation is devoted to showing the character of the vineyard in the wine, so many of these new whites have a marked mineral character. Look especially for those made in the northwestern region of Galacia: they may be the best seafood wines around today.

Godeval Godello Valdeorras 2005 $18
Pretty floral aromas with tangy citrus flavors and a firm mineral note. This beautiful light style shows marvelously with oysters.

Vina Sila “Naia” Verdejo 2005 $12
Like a super-charged New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with ripe grapefruit flavors and an enticing herbal dimension. Great with snapper or mussels.

Do Ferreiro Albariño Rias Baixas 2005 $21
Brisk acidity with a kaleidoscope of mineral, kiwi, and spice. Intense, dry, and complex, perfect with scallops in a citrus vinaigrette.

Sameirás Ribeiro, Galicia 2005 $17
Fragrant and melony, this shows a seductive combination of a tingly yet soft texture. A touch of honey on the finish to this dry wine that will show nicely with that Thanksgiving turkey.

Madison Magazine - October 2007
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