Showing posts with label El Circo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label El Circo. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Macabeo. Little known but a winner here.

Macabeo. Little known but a winner here.

Cariñena is one of Spain's most traditional wine-producing regions. Soil is poor with short bush vines on unirrigated land that barely receive any treatment due to the 7 months of “Cierzo” wind which constantly hit this region and where the grape ripens more slowly, allowing all its potential to be fullfilled.

The Macabeo grape has had a hard time getting itself known beyond the North of Spain. Macabeu and Maccabéo are other names for this grape also grown on the French side of the mountains. More of you will know it better as Viura, the main white grape in La Rioja.

Macabeo is the Spanish name though and I’ve got a 1997 Wine Encyclopaedia (American, by the way) in my hands and it makes no mention of the grape. Fast forward to 2012 and there is no mention in Oz Clarke’s Handbook.

Even in Hugh Johnson’s 2012 Pocket Book, it is included and described as “the workhorse white grape of Northern Spain” though, in fairness, he acknowledges its “Good quality potential”. Much of that potential has been realised in this bottle.

For more on this interesting variety check this article by Jancis Robinson: the Cinderella Grape

El Circo Macabeo 2012, Cariñena DO, 12.5%, €9.99 to €10.99, Stockists.

Colour is light gold with an aromatic nose. It is full of gorgeous white fruit but, don’t fear, the flavours don’t overwhelm and indeed the wine is really well balanced with a terrific finish. Very Highly Recommended.

Fontanario de Pegoes 2012, Palmela DO (Portugal), 12.5%, 10.99 to 11.99, stockists

Only the fairly serious wine students will know of the grapes used in this white. It is based mainly on the Fernao Pires variety with a touch of Arinto.

It is a strawy colour with tints of green. Nose is quite aromatic, summer fruits and traces of herbs. The young fruit has a pleasant and moderate input to the overall experience. The wine is light and refreshing, ideal on its own or with fish dishes and salads. Recommended.