A couple of months ago, I attended a tasting with some friends from an online wine forum. Good wines, interesting conversations and a lot of fun. The only drawback was that my success rate in guessing the origin of the wines was at the very least disappointing. This kept me occupied for a good couple of days. I drink about 2 bottles of wine a week and taste maybe 10 to 15 more. Why do I still suck at this? I went through the list of wines in the tasting and compared it to the other wines that I drank and it suddenly hit me. My own preferences for real cool climate wines like Riesling, Chenin Blanc or Pinot Noir had led me to neglect a significant part of the rest of the wineworld. I can’t remember the last time I drank a wine from Toro, Veneto or the Sud Ouest. It should not have been so surprising then that I was unable to recognize these. What even makes this more embarrassing is that I predicted this last year! In this post I mentioned that a taster’s personal preferences will always influence his or her experiences with a wine, a trap that every winelover, including myself, calls in from time to time.
So it’s time to get out of my comfort zone and to rediscover what else is out there. This week’s wine is a good start: the Garnatxa Blanca 2015 by Loxarel, an organic winery located in Penedes that may be more known for their cava, but offers a great range overall. I discovered the estate a couple of years ago at the Real Wine Fair and was pleased to snap up a couple of wines in Belgium last week.
Going through my cellar I have 0 bottles of Grenache blanc or any other southern white variety for that matter. I often find that these wines are pleasing at first, very open and powerful but that they become a bit too much when you try to finish an entire bottle. The high altitude of the vineyards this wine comes from does however help to keep a certain freshness that prevents it from becoming too fat. Absolutely lovely in the nose, blossom, spring flowers and just a hint of ripe fruit. Powerful on the palate, you are still dealing with 13.5% in alcohol but a freshness that counters it and gives it a nice kick in the finish. Greate with food, something with grilled chicken, a herby salad and perfect with feta cheese in fact.