Rising to the challenge.
The Albariño variety of Galicia’s, planted on the harsh wet Atlantic coast, provides the country’s most elegant and crisp white wines with captivating floral bouquet and peach flavours. It is interesting to note that Albariño is now planted in California and New Zealand. By way of contrast, the once heavyweight (and often over-oaked) whites of Rioja are being re-invented with more sensitive handling of the Viura grape to preserve aroma and elegance.
Under its numerous regional guises, the red Tempranillo grape ‘reigns in Spain’. It is most familiar when blended with Garnacha as the mainstay of Rioja. In Navarra it finds Cabernet and Merlot as blending partners yet its most powerful and unadulterated form is discovered in the reds of Toro and Ribera del Duero. Rioja is rising to the challenge with new investment in small-scale, high quality, boutique wineries stressing the richness of the fruit with less emphasis on oak. At the same time, forward thinking co-operatives that have control over their own vineyard supply have tuned-in to the demands and high expectation of the international market making rich, spicy Tempranillo, supple and easy to drink.