Modern Spanish white wine

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We can thank the New World for the focus on varietal characteristics. Mono-varietal wines are so well-established that to taste a blended wine now seems  slightly strange, especially one that has seven different grape varieties in it. The list is Macabeo (41%), Chardonnay (18%), Sauvignon (16%), Muller Thurgau (10%), Albarino (10%), Riesling (3%) and Muscatel (2%). All these go into making Tomas Cusine’s Auzells 2010 white wine from the Costers del Segre DO in the north east of Spain.

We’ve previously tried a Tomas Cusine Macabeo which was delicious – especially if allowed to breathe and decanted well before drinking. So – grape expectations for his Auzells.   Perhaps too many expectations that this did not fulfil.

It was an attractive lemon colour, clear and bright in the glass with no green tinge. The nose was slight and I smelt some white pepper to start with, but this vanished as it developed some sweet notes when left to develop. So far so good. The taste was – well, commercial. It showed freshness through its acidity but was rather short and, to be unkind, a little hard on the finish. There was little complexity and not really worth the Wine Society price of around £10. Was it typical of modern Spanish white wines? Yes, and disappointingly so.

And I can’t quite understand the difference that 3% of this and 2% of that will really make.

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