This month VÍ Vid recommend a selection of Valencian white wines and a pair of new Valencian gins.

Bodega ‘Vinya Nature’ is from Les Useres and produces some excellent wines and a cava. The ‘Baranc de l´ Infern’ white is 60% Chardonnay and 40% Macabeo and has had no oak ageing. Pale lemon, clean and bright. On the nose clean and fresh, floral and in the mouth good acidity. Neither variety dominates, nicely balanced and with a long dry finish. A perfect match for seafood and salads.

The 2016 vintage of Finca Collado’s (Salinas, DO Alicante) white wine with the Chardonnay fermented in oak and a short crianza on the lees (3 months), then blended with Moscatel. Pale gold, clean and very bright with strong legs. On the nose expressive with white flowers, aromatic, apricot, cream and vanilla from the oak. In the mouth the initial acidity is balanced by tropical fruit flavours, pineapple, mango, lychee, vanilla. The wine evolves well, releasing orange peel notes as well. Very long finish, round. Probably the best vintage to date. A perfect match with Paella, Fideua and Indian food. Available from saboresdelavid.com

A pure Sauvignon Blanc 2016 from (DO Valencia) Bodegas Vegamar, which is very characteristic of the variety. Harvested at night so that the grapes are less stressed, immediately destemmed and crushed, the must is then kept at -30º before macerating with the skins at 10ºc before pressing. On the nose, grass, hay, elderflower. In the mouth crisp, clean, fresh with good acidity, long dry fruity finish. Perfect aperitif or with seafood. Available from Vegamar Selección, Calle Colon.

The Bodegas Vinados, Cent Piques Verdejo 2016 (DO Valencia) comes from a 2.5 hectare plot of ecological vines, the handpicked grapes harvested at a slightly higher maturity than normal. Golden yellow colour with green flashes, clean and bright. On the nose you immediately note the riper fruit, guava, it is not a typical crisp, fresh nose as when tasted it was still slightly closed as it was bottled recently. In the mouth it is very fruity with excellent balancing acidity, round with a good volume that fills the mouth and maintain its presence. Long finish. Again, an aperitif or with shellfish. Available online from www.vinados.es

David Carbonell is the winemaker at Vins del Comtat (Cocentaina, DO Alicante)and is credited with being the pioneer who first brought and planted Viognier in Valencia. This is the first of two wines from this variety produced by him we recommend.

This 2016 Joven wine is clean, very bright and quite yellow in colour. The nose is very expressive with rich peach fruit and hints of fruit stone. In the mouth it is immediately full, rich, ripe fruit, then spicy as it warms up. It has a long deep finish, which is very satisfying.

Same grape variety, same vintage but the second wine has been fermented in oak with a light toast. Viognier is a variety which is notoriously difficult to work with in barrel, despite its ripe fruit it is quite delicate. This spent just two months in oak. Like the joven, this 2016 Tostado Lento has nice peach fruit on the nose but is actually a little lighter both in colour and depth. In the mouth it is more refined; you note the oak but only in a complementary way, the wine being soft and elegant whereas the joven by comparison is quite gutsy. An interesting contrast in style. Both wines available from vinsdelcomtat.com

The Bodegas Vinados Cent Piques 2016 Gewurztraminer (DO Valencia) is a more typical Mediterranean Gewurztraminer, golden, clear and bright with long legs reflecting its alcohol content. On the nose typically floral, rose petal, tropical fruit, spicy. In the mouth good volume, which grows in the mouth, round, fruit and spice are nicely integrated. Long elegant finish. Excellent with seafood rice dishes.

In contrast, the Bodegas Baron d´Alba 2016 Gewurztraminer contains about 5% Viognier, which has been aged in oak for a short period and adds to the elegance. Pale yellow clean and bright. On the nose it has rose petal, honeysuckle, spice and a hint of vanilla. In the mouth, light on entry, then the spice emerges, rich, ripe fruit, full, apricot and apricot stone, it is a wine which evolves quickly in the mouth and well in glass.

This is one of the best wines from this variety we have tasted here in Valencia and is available from Navarro Bodegueros on Cardenal Benlloch.
For gin lovers Vegamar have introduced two new gins to the premium market this month. You will love them too!

Gin City London is a traditional ‘London Dry’ style, elegant, fresh, and citric, with a hint of the East and with a touch of modernity which the citrus, mint and gin add to the base. It is a gin with 40 º VOL and five separate distillations which supply a concentration of the elements to the purist. The main botanicals are Juniper, Cardamom, Coriander, Angelica, Lemon and Orange peel, Peppermint and Ginger. It is a refreshing drink, taken with tonic from which the citrus notes sing out without over dominating.  Gin City Valencia, by contrast is a smooth, elegant, aromatic, floral and fruity which has more volume and is a drink which could convert non-gin drinkers to the habit. Six distillations are necessary before this classic is bottled, something rarer in the world of gins!

During this process the classic Juniper and the citrus elements together with the wine made from Moscatel de Alejandría from the bodegas vineyards in Calles, the scents of the mountain herbs and Marcona almonds, also native and grown in the zone, meld together. This is what gives it a Mediterranean style and a different and special character. Fragrant, delicate, with a long evolution in the glass. The botanicals used in this version are Cardomum, Angelica, Lemon, Orange, Sage, Thyme, Chamomile, Penny Royal, Heliotrope, Mint and Verbena. Although offered with tonic at the presentation, this is a gin which is satisfying drunk on its own where one can appreciate its smooth passage and individual elements. Both available (25€) from Vegamar Selección, Colon.

This article was prepared by Marian Dáras and Riki Wigley of VÍ Vid .

Further information from them is available at vividvinos@hotmail.com and you can follow their blog, http://vvidblog.wordpress.com or on Facebook (VÍ Vid), Twitter ( @Vividvinos ) and Instagram (Vivid8702). Current articles are on Arroz del Senyoret and a fuller review of the launch of Vegamar’s Gin City.

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