Spain, like Portugal, is best known for its red wines. But it is exciting to see some serious Spanish whites emerging. Like this: a thrillingly complex expression of the Verdejo grape variety. It’s big, bold, but not overblown – and coming back to it after 5 days in the fridge, it is still beautifully focused and fresh.
Bodegas Naia ‘Naiades’ 2006 Rueda, Spain
14% alcohol. This varietal Verdejo comes from eight plots of old vines, many of which are over 100 years old and some of which predate phylloxera. It’s fermented and aged for eight months in new French oak. Deep yellow/gold colour. Intense, toasty, nutty, pungently fruity nose with citrus, pear and ripe peaches. The palate has a strongly savoury, spicy, mineral core with tangy citrus fruit and some peachy richness. Complex, bold and intense this has a bit of pithy bitterness, but it works well with the ripe fruit characters. A distinctive wine that probably needs a decade to reach maturity. It’s so good, you can forgive the inordinately heavy, deeply punted bottle. 94/100 (£19.99 Find Wine – www.findwine.co.uk)