2017 PG Zaumau Tempranillo Blanco, Rioja, Spain (Alcohol 12.9, Residual Sugar 4 g/l) LCBO Vintages $18.95 (750ml bottle)

It’s not everyday that one sees a monovarietal Tempranillo Blanco ; this albino mutation of Spain’s famed Tempranillo grape is more often than not utilised as a blending component. Here 10 year old vines from sand/limestone/clay/gravel Rioja Baja soils at 600 – 700m altitude are organically harvested and fermented in stainless steel.

Upon tasting this excellent example I find myself asking why we don’t see more of these wines as it appears that the varietal is more than capable of standing up by itself.

The nose shows a fair bit of reserve, but is most appealing with enticing aromatics of apricot, orange blossom, honeysuckle, and cantaloupe. The palate is really quite superb, with crisp malic acid keeping the wine’s creamy, full, lees-enhanced mouthfeel completely in check. There’s a very pleasant mineral thread running through the wine that culminates in a splendidly persistent finish.

This is an extremely clean, polished, and well-crafted contemporary Spanish white wine that I feel deserves your full attention.

(Four apples out of a possible five)

Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that was very interesting indeed.