Aitor Trabado today talks about white varietals
Last week we talked about the red varietals I like most. This week we will talk about white ones. In any case, I normally prefer a red wine over a white one. I certainly believe in matching wines and food, and I’ve tasted pairings in which flavors of meals and wines are really enhanced by the matching but I also believe that when the company is good, the wine is good and the food is good, there is no way any of it will be spoiled by the, let’s say, mismatch.
For white varietals, I will go with these three: Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Viogner. Both in Mosel, Germany and in Alsace, France you will find great wines made with the first two. Weingut Barzen in Mosel and Domaine Schlumberger in Alsace produce great wines. I love Riesling. It comes in four different levels of sugar, from the dry Trocken to the so sweet Beerenauslese. Barzen makes all of them with great quality.
One Gewürztraminer I love is the one Domaine Schlumberger makes and also a superb sweet one produced in Spain by Gramona, a cava specialist making this Vi De Gel or Ice Wine with this varietal. Incredibly well balanced wine. Also in Northern Spain’s El Bierzo Luna Beberide makes a great Gewürztraminer.
In France you can find great Viogner wines, as it is a French varietal, but one that I really love is produced in Spain. Vallegarcía Viogner, Montes de Toledo-Vinos de la Tierra de Castilla La Mancha. I’ve tasted several vintages of this wine and it is always great.
Lately I’m getting fond of Chenin Blanc, especially that of the Loire Valley. Domaine de Bellivière makes a great one in Les Rosiers. I also have in my tasting queue two Chenin from South Africa.
Northwest Spain is widely recognized by its white wines. It is true that Albariño, the varietal found in Rías Baixas, produces a great wine. For my taste, it’s a bit too acid, though from time to time I enjoy a bottle of Albariño. Terras Gauda, Pazo de Señorans or Mar de Frades are good Albariños.
Near the border with Portugal there is a small area within Rías Baixas named O Rosal. A great wine with Loureiro varietal is produced here; Dávila L-100 by small winery Valmiñor is a superb white wine.
Near Rías Baixas we find two more Dos: Ribeira Sacra and Monterrei. Another two varietals here, Treixadura and especially Godello, are really great. Vega de Lucia de Bodegas Gerardo Méndez and Guitián produce fruity Godellos. Bodegas Gerardo Méndez is one of those small wineries that you can enjoy discovering for the quality of its wines.
I also love Cava and Champagne. Cava is produced by the millions in the Penedès region of Catalonia. They traditionally use a coupage of three different varietals: Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Perallada. Lately we can find cavas produced with Pinot Noir such as Juvè & Camps Pinot Noir Brut Rosé or Gramona Brut Pinot Noir. Gramona also produces Mas Escorpi, a cava using Chardonnay 100%.
Our French neighbors and their Champagne. I really love Champagne. I’ve tasted lots of them, from the mainstream ones to small producers ones. My favorites are Pol Roger Reserve and Bollinger Special Cuvée. Pol Roger is also known because of its relationship with Sir Winston Churchill. Back in his days he was so fond of this winery that he used to store cases of it and he built a strong connection with them. Therefore, they have a special cuvee since then called Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Cuvée for an average of 200 euro.
The varietals most used for Champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier.