Alex's Staff Pick for Winter 2017
2013 l'Avli Arrufi Garnacha Blanca, Celler Pinõl
Terra Alta, Spain
I have just recently discovered that I really enjoy oxidative white wine and have fallen in love with this old vine Grenache Blanc from the Terra Alta region in Spain. The term oxidative, while it may bring to mind a negative connotation of oxidized wine, actually refers to the winemaking style rather than the wine itself. Just as in any craft, there needs to be a balance and the oxidative flavours in wine are created during fermentation by exposing the juice to just the right amount of air while still maintaining its integrity.
I love this wine for its subtle nutty undertones and comforting orchard fruit aromas of white peach, apricot and red apples. The palate is a juicy waltz of pear and ginger with a fresh citrus acidity and lingering floral finish. Ordinarily, when one thinks of wine and the seasons, red springs to mind for the winter months like white does for sunshine and patios. One sip of this weighty, delicious juice however will have you discover that there is such a thing as a winter white.
There were only 300 cases of this wine made and it is very special to the Pinõl family. The 80 year old vines are organically grown and have been maintainted by the family for four generations. Lovingly named after the man who founded the Pinõl family's winemaking operation in 1945 "Grandfather Aruffi', the winery remains a family effort today. Family generally connotes love and I truly believe that the love that's gone into producing this remarkable wine shines through in every sip.
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