Mineral Iberian Whites
Seriously exciting white wines to showcase the immense potential of whites from regions perhaps better known for their reds. The focus here is on minerality, salinity, and ‘linear’ expressions.
Featured here (left to right):
(Ribeira Sacra, Spain) Silice Viticultores - Blanco 2018
A rare white wine made in the tiniest of quantities from a region dominated by reds. This blend of Albariño, Palomino , and Treixadura is soft, subtly complex, and slightly textured with a real mineral and saline backbone. It was fermented in barrels but partly aged in steel so it has a lovely roundness but with a fresh and crisp finish. A serious white from one of the world's most underrated regions. Silice Viticultores is a collaboration between three friends who sought to unite old parcels in the canyons of the mythical Sil river. Extreme viticulture, jaw-dropping landscapes, and fanatical dedication yield some of Spain's most exciting wines.
(Douro, Portugal) Folias de Baco – Moscatel Galego 2019
A wonderfully aromatic white that is lean and crisp. Made from the Muscat variety, it is perfumed yet quite restrained compared to more common examples. The palate is a citrus and grapefruit burst with a zesty and mineral finish. Made by Tiago Sampaio, a grower who took over his Grandparents' vineyards and 2007 and has progressively become one of Portugal's most sought after natural wine producers.
(Navarra, Spain) Azul y Garanza - Naturaleza Salvaje Blanco 2019
Fermented on its skins for 10 days, this old-vine Grenache Blanc then spent 8 months in clay amphoras. It's light in colour compared with other skin-contact whites, low alcohol, and so fresh. Lovely fruity aromatic showing a saline component on the finish. Perfect on its own or with a variety of foods. Made by Maria, Dani, and Fernando, a dynamic trio who slowly converted an abandoned cooperative building in their village of Carcastillo to a fully operational winery. A huge commitment to biodiversity in the vines leads to wines of pronounced purity.