The previous vintage of this wine proved to be our biggest selling white from last Fall. Back in July, I was treated to the new vintage... then, last week, I had the opportunity to taste both vintages side by side. Actually, I got to drink them side by side at a restaurant in D.C. that had both on hand...
I already doubled my order from last year based off my July tasting... I am adding more to it now... wow! This is some seriously delicious juice!
And, as the subject implies, I think this is the best value in white wine we'll see all Fall. Load up!
Celler Vinos Piñol, Terra Alta Blanca "Ludovicus Blanco" 2011 - Reg. $13.99 - deals to follow
100% Garnacha Blanca (Grenache Blanc). Last year, Patrick Mata, the owner of Olé Imports, called this a "dangerous, dangerous wine". He wasn't sure they were charging enough money for it - that it could compete with (and beat) more expensive juice in his portfolio, for less money. That's saying something, because I've tasted pretty much everything he imports, and there isn't a dog in the bunch.
Why so dangerous? Ok, to start with - it's Ludovicus Blanco. That's right, the white version of one of our all-time best selling Spanish reds. It's made by Toni Coca, considered to be one of the best winemakers in all of Catalonia.
It hails from Terra Alta, the ancestral home of the grape. Five kilometers south of Priorat, Terra Alta is full of limestone soil - tongue in cheekily referred to as "White Gold". Limestone is renowned for the minerality and acidity it brings to the table - a la the greatest vineyards in Chablis and Loire. So here, in this obscure corner of Spain, we have the opportunity to experience Garnacha Blanc in all of its glory!
The aromatics leap and swirl from the glass - white peach, mineral, fresh herbs, and intriguing spice notes. Intriguing because this wine sees no wood, but manages to have an aromatic profile that mimics what you'd expect from a wooded wine. Beeswax and floral notes complete the spectrum, evoking a well-made white Rhone.
In the mouth, the wine is rich and lush - a hallmark of Garnacha Blanca. Why so rich? A mutation of the red Grenache, the grapes of Garnacha Blanca actually appear slightly pink/rose, thus retaining some of its red brother's weight and structure. But thanks to the aforementioned limestone soil, the wine retains bright acidity to balance the natural richness of the grape.
Ripe, lush peach and apricot fruit are lifted by minerality and herbs, and the spice notes carry the finish, with a length and concentration that speaks to the age of the vines and the care that Coca takes in transmitting the terroir of Terra Alta. And the texture... my goodness. Just silky, soft, and round - one of those wines that begs you to take another sip.
What to pair with? What not to pair with!?! I enjoyed this at a tapas restaurant, the table filled with sardine stuffed olives, paprika-laced braised rabbit, an almond & garlic cold soup, oysters, scallops, and a bunch of other goodies that I am having trouble remembering... that's some good wine...
Grab a solid case and we'll knock 30% off the price!!! - That's only $9.79 per bottle.
6-11 bottles will get it to $10.49, or 25% off...
3-5 bottles will bring the price to $11.19, or 20% off!