Super Saline Whites
Pure salt bombs, mineral powerhouses... these white wines are all about 'that' salinity that defines many coastal or island locations, or that characterise some specific soil types. We've put together an eye-opening bundle featuring some of our all-time favourite whites. From the moreish to the serious, the immediate to the linear, and the lean to the textured.
Featured here (left to right):
(Tuscany, Italy) Fattoria di Sammontana - Primo Fuoco Bianco 2019
A very small production wine made from Trebbiano Toscano. The wine spent three months on its skins (!) and a further 6 months in local clay amphoras. This one is structured and firm, but with a salty complexity and savoury character that will work wonders with most white meats, chunky white fish, or any bold flavours in food. Serious stuff. Made by Daniele & Dario, the fourth generation at this biodynamic Tuscan estate. Within the range they make a balanced mix of traditional Sangioveses along with these more experimental wines vinified in clay amphoras.
(Burgundy, France) Domaine de Thalie - Les Cosmics 2018
Beautiful unoaked Chardonnay from the Mâcon zone. This is a linear style, textured enough for the grape but far from the oaky and buttery style. Lovely aromatic, beautiful progression through the palate and a mineral and long finish. Made by Peter Gierszewki, a first generation Burgundian of Polish parents who started this small 4.5 ha estate in 2009 with a view to push the limits of natural farming in his parcels, an ethos he also brings into the cellar. Beautiful naturally made Burgundy wines but with a very strong sense of belonging.
(Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy) Possa - Er Giancu 2019
A real stunner... 'Er Giancu' means 'the white wine' in the local dialect of Riomaggiore, one of the five villages that form this Unesco World Heritage site. The wine is made with 25 days of skin contact though it does not take on too much colour. Albarola grown at high altitude overlooking the sea, and a little bit of Bosco. Following fermentation it is aged in steel for 9 months for a pure and linear expression. This is generous yet super fresh, a refined salt bomb that speaks of its volcanic soils, its seaside origins, and the gentle hand of its winemaker. Bottled with no additions. Made by Heydi Bonanini, one of only a dozen growers still working the insane slopes of the Cinque Terre, and keeping alive a tradition well worth saving. Wines that speak of their sea cliffs origins, of salty winds, of hyper local grape varieties, and pure clarity. A grower for whom biodiversity is not just an aim but a way of life.
(Tuscany, Italy) Fattoria di Sammontana - Prunecchio 2019
An exciting blend of Trebbiano, Sauv Blanc, and Malvasia. The Trebbiano Toscano brings a saline and mineral edge, the Sauvignon brings freshness and texture, whilst the pinch of Malvasia adds a gorgeous aromatic lift. A refreshing wine that punches above its weight year after year. Made by Daniele & Dario, the fourth generation at this Tuscan estate. Within the range they make a balanced mix of traditional Sangioveses along with experimental wines vinified in clay amphoras (see the orange wine section).
(Ribeira Sacra, Spain) Silice Viticultores - Blanco 2018
A rare white from one of Spain's most underrated regions, and arguably one of our favourites. This blend of Treixadura, Albariño, and Palomino was direct pressed and fermented in barrels where it stayed on full lees for four months. It was then transferred to steel tanks for a further eight months before bottling. This is a proper premium white with subtle complexities, a wonderful texture, and dominant saline character. A unique expression of Northwest Spain that is guaranteed to impress. 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 very 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.