Spain’s new world

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

Where is the New World? Ac­cord­ing to con­ven­tional think­ing, it com­prises North and South Amer­ica, Aus­tralia, New Zealand and South Africa (although vines ar­rived there nearly 400 years ago). How­ever, it seems to me that cer­tain cor­ners of old Europe are just as new in terms of in­no­va­tive plant­ing and wine-mak­ing as any­where in Cal­i­for­nia or the An­tipodes. This goes es­pe­cially for Spain, a fas­ci­nat­ing wine coun­try that’s both tra­di­tional and ex­tremely go-ahead.

There’s more to Va­len­cia than beaches and fi­es­tas, re­veals

Harry Eyres

Why you should be drink­ing it

Un­til quite re­cently, Spain—for most wine drinkers—was Rioja, sherry, per­haps the Tor­res wines from Cat­alo­nia, pos­si­bly Navarra and an in­ex­pen­sive ta­ble wine called Don Pe­dro. There have been tremen­dous de­vel­op­ments: Rib­era del Duero and Pri­o­rat for top-qual­ity reds and, for whites, Al­bar­iño from Gali­cia, Rueda and, more re­cently still, Godello. One area I wasn’t ex­pect­ing to pro­duce re­ally high-qual­ity wines, both white and red, was Va­len­cia, bet­ter known for beaches and fi­es­tas.

What to drink

The reve­la­tion in Va­len­cia has been Bode­gas Mus­tigu­illo, an ex­cep­tion­ally go-ahead out­fit high up in the hills and well in­land from the hot coast. Mes­ti­zaje Blanco 2016 (£13.50; www. bbr.com) is 65% Merseguera (an in­ter­est­ing lo­cal grape), 24% Viog­nier and 11% Mal­vasía. It’s per­fumed on the nose, then sat­is­fy­ingly crisp. Finca Calves­tra Merseguera 2014 (right, £19.75; www.bbr.com) has a scent of or­ange blos­som, then tastes al­most Ch­ablis-like, with stony min­er­al­ity and lemony acid­ity—both un­usual and fine. Mes­ti­zaje Tinto 2014 (£15; www. bbr.com) is made mainly from Bobal and has lots of el­e­gance and acid­ity. The 100% Bobal Finca Ter­rerazo 2014 (£24.95; www.bbr.com) is deep in colour, with inky com­plex­ity and a core of rasp­berry fruit.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.