Region: Valle de Orotava, Tenerife
Grapes: Listán Blanco + local varieties
First Glance: Medium-bodied, golden fruit, textured, saline, matchstick
If you've asked your wine-nerd friend or a savvy sommelier what grape or region they were most excited about at present, chances are you may have had to sit through a presentation of the dramatic landscapes of the Canary islands, Azores, the volcanic slopes of Mt Etna or the windswept islands of Greece's Aegean sea. What all of the above have in common, and indeed the trend that takes shape with them, is that they are age-old, highly individualistic pockets of grape growing, in a world that has long been dominated by international grape varieties and winemaking ethos. In other words; old-school and indigenous are back in!
One such iconic producer is Suertes Del Marques, located on Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco. Here, the subtropical climate is tempered by altitudes of up to 1000 metres, and the volcanic derived soils, in conjunction with local varieties such as Listan Negro and Listan Blanco, make highly distinctive wines unlike any you may have tasted before.
The Trenzado blanco is named for the local method of vine training, where long branches of vines are tied together like metre-long wooden braids, held off the ground by Y-shaped sticks. Predominantly Listan Blanco (also known as Palomino in main-land Spain), the blend includes tiny portions of other local grapes like Pedro Ximénez, Albillo Criollo, Gual, Marmajuelo or Malvasía. Fermented and raised in large format neutral oak fudre.
The Best Cellars View:
As with many other wines from this area, the Trenzano blanco is characterised by a distinctive matchstick aroma, which gives nuance to the rich but crisp notes of salt-preserved lemon, autumn apple, toasted nuts and wet stones. Textured on the palate, the wine is balanced by both pristine acidity and a saline mineral bite, as well as a faint hint of tannin to give structure. A beautiful wine, perfect for the seasoned Chardonnay drinker, seeking to try something a different.