Since I'm always on the lookout for new and different wines, I ran across these two Spanish examples, Pleyades Macabeo 2007, DO Cariñena and Ermita Veracruz Verdejo 2006, DO Rueda, the other day and snapped them up. I tend to get a bit excited when I try something new, there's always that frisson of discovery and expectation. And, I have to say, these two were excellent examples of crisp, dry, unoaked, perfect-for-a-sunny-day wines.
The DO Cariñena is situated to the west of Catalunya in northeastern Spain and is probably better known for its red wines then its whites but this macabeo was a real charmer.
Macabeo is usually used as one of the three varieties blended to make Spanish cava. Here it's allowed to strike out on its own as a still white wine. The colour alone signals that this is a wine that doesn't take itself too seriously, being a shade of pale lemon. I wouldn't say this was an overly complicated wine either but it was crisp and fresh with a nice nose of lemon and pineapple, very clean with a nice bit of weightiness on the palate. I detected plenty of bright, cripsy citrus flavours and a good finish. I found this a very enjoyable wine to drink out in the garden or at the
Whereas macabeo is primarily known as a blending grape, verdejo wines are quite well known and the DO Rueda is justly famous for the verdejos it produces. The Ermita Veracruz Verdejo 2006 is an good example of whites from this region. My nose was greeted by lashings of grapefruit, orange peel and white flowers along with a streak of minerality underlying it all. After giving it a good sniff I took a sip and was delighted to find a striking
herbiness, a bit of mint and a citric finish with just a whisper of bitterness at the end. If you're tired of the same old sauvignon blanc and looking for something with a bit of zing, then this wine is for you. It'd be great with a platter of fried seafood or calamari with plenty of lemon squeezed on top. Delish...