Most people probably have the impression that Spanish white wines tend to be lite, refreshing, and easy to drink, like Albariño for example (and not that there is anything wrong with Albariño, which I adore), but there are some very serious white wines being made in a traditional and/or modern style.  I have come across a couple white wines from Spain recently at tastings at Chambers Street Wines, which caught my attention.

The wines are Bodegas Marañones 2009 “Picarana” Albillo Blanco and Luis A. Rodriguez Vazquez – Viña de Martin, 2007 “Escolma” Ribiero Blanco.   And while these wines have piqued my interest, I also feel that maybe they are trying to fool me?  They are rich and seductive, and while they are different from let’s say a rich oaked California Chardonnay, they also share something in common.  Namely, that they seduce with their rich complexity.  Yet, both of these wines come from Chamber’s Street Wines, perhaps the greatest champion of natural and honest wines in the greater New York City metropolitan area.  Trying to find an over oaked wine at Chambers Street is like trying to find an organic vegan meal at McDonalds.  So what gives?

I really feel at odds with myself, my palate, and my conscious here, but I like these wines.  And I like them a lot.  But I still can’t figure if they are seducing me with terroir, wood, solid wine making, or some weird combination of all three.  Maybe there is extensive time on the less or perhaps some lees stirring to get that added layer of creamy texture?  Tasted side by side, the wines are not dissimilar at all.  At any rate, I have tasted several wines from each of these producers, and they are each extremely fine wine makers.  Both are ones to watch and try.  Prices for both range from semi reasonable to starting to climb upwards.  Check these guys out now and decide for yourself while we can still afford to approach them.

Bodegas Marañones 2009 “Picarana” Albillo Blanco  $17.99

Immediately the nose of the Picarana grabs you.  Made from organic plots of the Albillo grape, there are layers of sweet almond torte mixing with with a constantly changing nose of honeydew, lychee, pears, and wild flowers.  There is also the sense that the wine has spent time in wood, though not new, because it is not really there.  Maybe its the rich complexity of the wine.  At any rate, at the very respectable price of $17.99 at Chambers Street, this is probably one of the best under the radar screaming deals I have come across.  Tasted twice with consistent notes.  Jancis Robinson has some nice things to say about the Picarana as well if you want a second opinion, you can find it here.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – GREAT VALUE – MUST BUY

Luis A. Rodriguez Vazquez – Viña de Martin, 2007 “Escolma” Ribiero Blanco  $61.99

The Escolma has a medium yellow metallic color and again the nose is layered with almond cake and marzipan.  It is a blend of Brancellao, Caino, and Ferrol and it is rich and round yet subtle, with notes of pears and wild flowers, and a solid mineral streak.  Again, there is a rich creaminess in texture and it is layered and complex with the suggestion of time in wood.  Very Burgundian.  Expensive, but very impressive.  The Escolma is the top of the line white from Rodrigus, but there is a more entry level cuvée priced at $32.99 that is nearly as good.  Tasted twice.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED