Sunday, 28 February 2010

A touch of the old vino blanco

Via Edetana Blanco 2008, Edetaria (D.O. Terra Alta)
A dry Spanish white? Very much uncharted territory for me (if you remove fino sherry from the equation).

A blend of 50% Garnatxa Blanca (Catalan spelling), 40% Viognier and 10% Muscat, this is from the Edetaria winery situated in the Terra Alta appellation in western Tarragona. The smell from this wine jumped out at me, as it were, during Friday's wine tasting - so I compulsively ordered a bottle which I picked up the next day. (In my case, nose often rules over palate.)

The adjective I'd used in my scribbled notes of the previous evening was "stinky", but by no means was this an unpleasant pong. Very pungent, it almost hints at the aroma that hits you when you enter a fishmonger's. This is underscored by a certain minerality and an unobtrusive note of oak that expresses itself as caramel and then coffee. After time in the glass, this pungency subsides and the wine takes on an overtly vegetative character on both nose and palate. Although this is a wine that cries out for food (fish!), its levels of juicy acidity are somewhat on the low side. Consequently, the finish isn't the longest. However that's a minor quibble, because the wine still retains plenty of poise. Thanks - I suspect in part - to the winemaker's judicious use of stainless steel and oak during vinification (White Grenache in oak, Viognier in stainless steel), the wine shows good balance. The alcohol (12.5%) isn't too high either. In any case, it went really well with the trusty triumvirate of poached salmon steak, boiled potatoes and broccoli which I prepared.

Overall, Via Edetana is an enjoyable excursion off the beaten track, and still good value for it too (CHF 17.50, or retailing at a little under EUR 10 in euroland, apparently).

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