Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo
Terra Alta, Spain
Alc. 13.5 %
The region of Terra Alta might not be familiar to many wine lovers, but wines from this small D.O.P. in Spain's north-eastern Catalonia are well worth seeking out. Long separated from export markets by geographic isolation (Terra Alta translates to "high land," befitting its mountainous location), modern wineries in the region have embraced technological advances in winemaking while still paying tribute to their historic roots.
One such winery is Celler Pinol, the family-owned bodega responsible for the delicious Raig de Raim white. Located in the small town of Batea, Celler Pinol is dedicated to expressing their unique terroir through primarily indigenous grapes. This white blend is made from 80% Garnacha Blanca (a local specialty) and 20% Macabeo, both of which are native to Spain. Though Garnacha Blanca is often overshadowed by its close red-wine relative Garnacha Tinto (Grenache in France), it's finally being recognized for its ability to produce distinctive, age-worthy whites - and not a moment too soon! Enjoy the Celler Pinol Raig de Raim at a well-chilled 8 C now or over the next 2-3 years.
The Celler Pinol Raig de Raim pours a pale golden yellow with greenish highlights, fading to a clear rim.
We're immediately greeted with aromas of ripe pear, honeydew melon, clementine, and lemon-lime zest. It's fresh and inviting, with hints of minerality and a lingering floral note. Smells like summer in a glass!
The aromas of this wine are echoed perfectly by the flavours on the palate. Loads of citrus fruit lead the charge, along with more pear and melon to round things out. There's an intriguingly tangy mineral note reminiscent of wet slate or sea spray on the finish. The Garnacha Blanca in the blend lends some weight and a creamy texture to the palate to support the refreshing acidity.
The citrus notes of the Raig de Raim call out for seafood. This would be a perfect complement to butter-poached whitefish served with roasted new potatoes, which would match the richer texture of the wine. For a lighter meal, pair this with a summer salad served with cold roast chicken. Or chill well and enjoy on its own!
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Garnacha Blanca
Retail: $21.99 Club: $18.49