I admit, this wine is pretty esoteric, but it’s too cool not to share. It proves that the frontiers of wine touch on more places than we can imagine, and that a sharp sommelier can introduce us to new experiences that won’t break the bank.
Sommelier Rajat Parr delivered this white wine in a set of several glasses to drink with a few seafood and vegetable first courses at RN74 in San Francisco. “It’s a Malvasia from the Canary Islands,” Parr said and walked away.
I took a sip. It had the vague spiciness typical of the Malvasia grape, but it also had a distinct minerality. It was dry, even crisp. And it made a seamless match with a plate of butter-poached prawns and another plate of grilled Italian flat green beans. The wine was the Bermejos Malvasia Seco Lanzarote 2008, and it was listed at $32 a bottle. I rated it 87 points, non-blind.
The Canary Islands are part of Spain, but they lie off the coast of Africa several hundred miles to the southwest of the Iberian peninsula. On the island of Lanzarote, the vines grow in small volcanic craters. (You can see pictures of this bizarre system at www.lanzarote.com/wines.) Maybe that accounts for the minerality?
WineSpectator.com members: Get our quick list of Top Values in Spanish whites.
Johnny Espinoza Esquivel — Wine World — November 24, 2009 1:22pm ET
Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA — November 24, 2009 1:37pm ET
Johnny Espinoza Esquivel — Wine World — November 24, 2009 4:31pm ET
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