Top 10 of Spanish White Wines (2011)


Enate Uno 2006 Chardonnay. Art in white
The Somontano climate, Jesús Artajona's skill and 18 months of cask ageing transform the Chardonnay grape that composes it into a work of art where painstaking care has gone into every detail. Inside the bottle, a golden wine with intense aromas and dazzling, persistent flavour. And art outside the bottle too: the label design is commissioned from a different artist each time, on this occasion Erwin Bechtold. One of its bottles, with a label sketched by Antonio Saura.
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Alma de Reboredo. Liquid gold
Only a thousand bottles of this sweet Ribeiro are produced each year. Two years of cask ageing do not quite manage to conceal, behind the oak aroma, the fruity traits of the best selection of Treixadura grapes grown by the Campante winery on the banks of the river Miño.
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Viña Esmeralda Swarovski Elements Limited Edition 2010. Two jewels
The wine grown by the Torres family in the Penedés is a jewel in itself. But if it also comes in a bottle designed by the Austrian firm Swarovski with a matching emerald pendant, it sparkles even more. Only a thousand bottles have been produced.
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4.- Coma Blanca 2003. The Priorato Farmhouse
In the Priorat region and its Mas d'en Gil winery, the Rovira family nurtures its wines, from the vine to six months' ageing in French oak to the bottling, to offer us barely three thousand bottles of Coma Blanca, containing half-and-half of Macabeo and white Garnacha grapes.
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5.- Pazo de Señorans Selección de Añada 2004. The lady of the Rías Baixas
A wine made from a hundred percent Albariño grapes on a manor house in the Rías Baixas region whose owner, Marisol Bueno, chairs the Regulatory Council. Though dating from the 14th century, the latest technology has been brought on board to produce barely twenty thousand bottles of the white awarded the most points by José Peñín.
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6.- Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva White 1991. Palindromic asymmetry
Rioja and white. Viura (90%) and Malvasía (10%) grapes. Ten years of cask ageing and as many in the bottle. Honeyed aroma and dry to the taste. Hundred-year-old tradition and novelty. The López de Heredia family persist in mixing the impossible together in order to mellow a white like they do a red. And they succeed.
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7.- Ossian Capitel 2008. Echoes of ‘logical’ farming
Hundred-year-old organic vineyards situated at the highest point of the Rueda Appellation of Origin (though without its seal) produce, thanks to the care taken by Javier Zaccagnini and Ismael Gozalo, a wine of mineral complexity made from Verdejo grape with notes of vanilla, citrus fruit and nuts.
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8.- Bouza do Rei Gran Selección 2010. The king of the table
One of the principal wineries of the Rías Baixas region, placed by The Wine Spectator at the top of their list of Spanish whites. Made from Albariño grapes grown on vine arbours between the Arousa and Pontevedra estuaries, it develops notes of apple and citrus fruit that will please any palate.
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9.- Coto de Gomariz Colleita Seleccionada 2008. Affordable luxury
A Ribeiro wine that Xose Lois Seibo has succeeded in including in the list of best whites by mixing grape varieties (Treixadura, Albariño, Godello and Loureiro) and ageing them in new French and American oak casks. And at a price, under 10 €, that is nothing short of a gift.
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10.- Jorge Ordóñez nº4 Esencia 2004. Too many (or too few) words required
And for dessert, a Muscat wine. It is made by the Austrian Alois Kracher who, under the orders of Jorge Ordóñez, seeks to condense here the essence of sweet Malaga wine. Robert Parker gave it 99 points after admitting that it was beyond his descriptive abilities.
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