Spain located on the Iberian Peninsula, has over 2.9 million acres planted—making it the most widely planted wine producing nation but it is the third largest producer of wine in the world, the largest being France followed by Italy. This is due, in part, to the very low yields and wide spacing of the old vines planted on the dry, infertile soil found in many Spanish wine regions. The country has an abundance of native grape varieties, with over 400 varieties planted throughout Spain though 80 percent of the country's wine production is from only 20 grapes—including the reds Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Monastrell; the whites Albariño from Galicia, Palomino, Airen, and Macabeo; and the three cava grapes Parellada, Xarel·lo, and Macabeo. Major Spanish wine regions include the Rioja and Ribera del Duero which are known for their Tempranillo production; Valdepeñas, drunk by Unamuno and Hemingway, known for high quality tempranillo at low prices; Jerez, the home of the fortified wine Sherry; Rías Baixas in the northwest region of Galicia that is known for its white wines made from Albariño and Catalonia which includes the Cava and still wine producing regions of the Penedès as well the Priorat region. Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. The system shares many similarities with the hierarchical Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system of France, Portugal's Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) and Italy's Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) system.
- Item #: i_380789Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 92PRACTICING ORGANIC FARMING
VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "Light, greenish yellow. Sharply focused Meyer lemon, poached pear and honeysuckle aromas are lifted by a smoky mineral nuance and a spicy ginger flourish. Silky and sharply delineated on the palate, offering vibrant orchard and citrus fruit flavors that unfurl slowly with aeration. Shows outstanding depth as well as finesse, finishing sappy and impressively long, with resonating floral, mineral notes and a sexy floral nuance."
JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "Orange and cherry blossom feature in prominence here, while apricots and peaches take a supporting role. The medium-bodied and waxy palate really takes off as soon as you notice the electrifying acidity that this boasts. Medium-long on the finish. "
While Parker compares this wine to Grand Cru Chablis, we think it's more like some beautiful Spanish re-working of classic Meursault. Either way, it's delicious and unlike nearly any other Spanish white which leads to fanicful, far-away comparisons. The nose begins with honey and perfectly ripe pears complimented by waves of nutmeg and baking spices that build in richness and explosive flavors. Avancia is one of Jorge Ordonez's terroir discoveries. Jorge hunted out and acquired parcels of old-vine Godello planted between 1904 and 1910 in hard-scrabble hillsides of slate and quartz. A touch of oak is part of the style here, but to better frame these wines, Jorge looked to Didier Dagueneau and his famed Loire Valley Sauvignon Blancs rather than Burgundy. Dagueneau had specially formulated barrels that were more than twice the size of a standard barrel, but also aged for much longer as wood staves in the open air before the final barrel was made and toasted-the end result is subtler and marries better with medium bodied whites. When Jorge started planning to make this style of white wine, the waiting list for Dagueneau's special barrels was years long. No matter, Jorge "cut in line" when a very famous Sonoma producer refused a few of Dagueneau's prized barrels at the cellar-door. Jorge Ordonez bought them on the spot and paid to fly them from California to Spain. "
- Item #: i_382688Bottle Size: 750mlAn intense and complex nose of ripe fruits, lime, fennel and mint. The apple, melon and peach fruit flavors carry on giving power to the wine which is deftly balance by brisk herbal notes and hints of mineral from the slate soils. A wine that really evolves in the glass and lingers with you, very adaptable for a wide array of dishes.
- Item #: i_383440Bottle Size: 750mlORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES
WINEMAKER NOTES: "Light green-hued yellow. Tightly focused lemon and pear scents are complemented by deeper melon and peach notes. Lively and focused on the palate, offering vibrant citrus and orchard fruit flavors and a gingery nuance that adds back-end spiciness. Finishes nervy, energetic and long, featuring lingering suggestions of bitter lemon pith and dusty minerals. This fresh, mineral-inflected Godello will pair well with swordfish sautéed in butter and wild herbs, grilled or pan-fried sweet veal or pork sausage, and a host of casual foods like tapas, pasta with white clam sauce or fried oyster sandwiches."
- Item #: i_380459Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95ORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES & BIODYNAMIC PRACTICES
Rafael Palacios began his wine project in Valdeorras in 2004, purchasing mature vineyards of the indigenous Godello variety from older local growers. His previous experience in the area as a consultant had motivated him to try and recuperate the unique sub-zone of the Bibei Valley in the Municipality of O Bolo - characterized by its granite soils. The extreme topography and the low productivity of the soil had led to the almost complete abandonment of grape production in this tiny but historic county, cultivated traditionally on terraces.
"It is not cheap but I think it can easily hold its own against white burgundies selling at the same price. It had the structure and precision of a particularly fine Puligny-Montrachet but has its own very distinctive mountainous and, I'm afraid, mineral character. As well it might for it was grown on stone rather than soil, to judge from the pictures, on decomposed granite at 620 to 780 m above sea level. Old Godello vines are very rare since the variety had to be nursed back to proliferation as recently as the 1980s, but Palacios claims that the vines that provide this stunning wine are between 35 and 92 years old." JANCIS ROBINSON