Spanish white wine has enjoyed a remarkable resurgence. In a country where red wine is king, whites were regarded as an afterthought. But now you’ll find an enviable line-up of Spanish whites, with a host of intriguing grape varieties, all bursting with freshness and racy acidity.
The star of the show is undoubtedly Albariño from Rías Baixas in Galicia. This food-friendly white is all zingy refreshment, bursting with citrus and floral notes, and one of the great seafood matches. Bodega Rectoral do Umia’s 2019 bottling is a fine example, and an IWSC Silver award-winner.
Galicia is also home to Godello, a white grape that almost disappeared for good in the 1980s, but thanks to a number of savvy winemakers, is now highly acclaimed. Jancis Robinson MW is a big fan, saying it ‘combines the structure of white Burgundy with the finesse of a juicily mineral grape’. Bodegas Godelia’s Selección Godello 2015, an IWSC Silver winner, is a must-try.
And we couldn’t talk about Spanish wine and not mention Rioja. In the past, too much time in oak led to some pretty mediocre examples, but today, white Rioja is one of the most exciting styles around. Open a bottle and you’ll be won over by enchanting notes of lemon, white flowers and stone fruit – and they age beautifully, too.
Spanish white wine has improved arguably more than any other wine region in the world over the past 20 to 30 years. The following are the pick of Spanish whites from the IWSC 2020.
Bodega Rectoral do Umia
Tropical nose with a juicy slice of pineapple, melon and an underlying hint of wet minerals. Dry and crisp on the palate with concentrated lemon and a beguiling creamy vigor. 12.5% n/a in UK
De Boca En Boca 2019
Bodega San Cebrin
A tempting and tantalising white Rioja with characterful notes of lively lemon, sweet nuts and chalk. Energising acidity and utterly mouth-watering, this is one cheeky chappy you won't forget. 13% n/a in UK
Selección Godello 2015
A fusion of contrasting flavours: pithy lime and lemon curd accentuated by gum slapping acidity, set against a slightly nutty backdrop with hints of bacon fat! Deliciously long and complex. 14% n/a in UK
Delicate aromas of white flowers, nectarine and mandarin. Palate is lean and linear with crisp green apple, poached pear and a long fruity finish. Classic example. 12.8% RRP £6.70 from Vinnissimus
Asda Extra Special Palacio de Vivero Verdejo 2019
International Procurement and Logistics
Sublimely savoury saline-laced lees euphorically united with grassy gooseberry and lime-fresh mineral notes. Sumptuously soft, mellow finish with a touch of linden and wonderful textural energy. 13% RRP £6 from Asda
The Best Marques De Los Rios Blanco Reserva 2016
A true classic. Notes of mandarin, sweet honey, vanilla, and roasted nut interweave with perfectly pronounced oak and seductive smoke. Rich, rounded, and divine. 12% RRP £13 from Morrisons