It’s amazing that white wines from Spain barely registered a blip on the radar just a few years ago, yet many have achieved incredible success almost overnight. You know you’ve arrived when they start planting you in California, right?  Or at least when people actually start buying those wines. Spain’s white wines tend to be lean and refreshing, which is a necessity during the brutally hot summer that Spain enjoys. These wines are fresh, floral, and fragrant, perfect for the coastal cuisine of the Iberian Peninsula.  Enjoy these by themselves or as the ideal foil to so many delicious dishes.

2008 Mania Rueda Verdejo 13%

This offers up rich complex notes of green citrus peels, herbs, and wildflowers backed up with sweet pink grapefruit and guava.  The palate is rich yet soft and billows around in the mouth, again providing a gentle impression of sweetness that covers the guava and pineapple fruit. It’s a bit of a sneaky wine, not as soft as it may seem and really gaining lovely clarity on the long finish which has a touch of maraschino cherry to it before ending on a sweet grapefruit finale.  Just an all around fine wine for drinking on its own or with food, try shrimp or clams in garlic sauce, or, heck, go whole hog and make it shrimp and clams, with a few morsels of chorizo to add some spark! 90pts

2009 Dancing Coyote Albarino 13% -- Clarksburg

This is very fresh on the nose with minerally flecked notes of almost minty crabapple and bitter orange.  On the palate this is impressively elegant with rich, sweet fruit but wonderfully-balanced acids that give this a rather light footprint. It’s got mineral cut on the palate and a hint of almost quartzy minerality that lead to the green tea laced backend with hints of quince and that hint of bitter orange again. The finish is moderately long, brisk and refreshing though the wine comes off as a bit stern. Not a cocktail wine, but one that would shine with shellfish, or even better, chicken roasted with green olives and bitter orange juice! 89pts

2008 Mania Rueda 12.5% Verdejo/Viura

Sandy, minerally, and lean on the nose with a distinct herbal, green pepper, gooseberry quality that instantly makes one think of Sauvignon Blanc. On entry this is a touch creamy with a soft, broad feel that has no rough edges but is a bit on the tart side. The nice Asian pear flavors are offset by a bit a vegetal quality, recalling nopales salad with lime dressing, though offers nice, refreshing cut on the palate and onto the slightly spicy, minerally finish. A nice crisp, fresh style of wine that would be a great match for grilled sardines (of all things!) 88pts

2007 La Val Albarino 12.5% -- Rias Baixas

This offers up a subtle set of aromatics that leaves together soft notes of honeysuckle, baked peach, slate and a touch of pumpkin with smoky notes of beeswax candle floating over it all.  In the mouth it’s got the combination of rich and powerfully ripe fruit along with edgy acidity that makes Albarino such a great wine. The fruit is waxy with notes of star fruit and apricot cut through by the slightly smoky, gravelly mineral tones. The acid is prominent enough here but really very well-buffered by the fruit and only pokes out slightly on the moderately long, fresh finish, which gains a soft floral inner mouth perfume and hints on honeydew melon. A seductive little Albarino that needs some Mackerel or grilled octopus to play with. 88pts

2009 Dancing Coyote Verdelho 14.5% -- Clarksburg

Sweet and fruity on the nose with top notes of bay leaf, green anise seed and lavender adding some detail to the pool of peachy fruit.  This is a bit soft on the palate with a bit of sweetness adding to the slightly fat palate impression. It’s got a rich core of fruit, peach with a hint of pineapple, and gains a bit of spice and herb on the short finish, but also begins to show some heat on the finale.  This is a big white wine and is probably best paired with something equally rich and assertive,  like Bratwurst with spicy brown mustard! 87pts

Throw your friends for a loop – Serve them something new and exciting!

2008 Mania Rueda Verdejo 13%
This is a lovely wine, even a bit sneaky, it fools you into thinking it’s soft and then grabs your attention with rich guava, grapefruit and pineapple fruit that billows around in your mouth. Pair this with Shrimp, Clams and Chorizo, then sit back and enjoy the show!

2008 Raats Original 13.5%
This is a chameleon of a wine, pumping our sweet honey, beeswax, and golden fruit aromas on the nose then turning focused and almost steely on the palate with a touch of pomegranate seed on the palate. It’s a finely balanced, nervous wine perfect for a fish fry.