75% Airén, 25% Sauvignon Blanc; 11.5% ABV
Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store on 10 Oct
At first, I mentally categorized this as another nondescript Spanish white, but then I noticed it had been selling pretty well, and finally got a bottle. It is indeed quite tasty for the price.
I had not heard of Airén before, but according to that Wiki page, it represents about 30% of all grapes grown in Spain, but is increasingly being uprooted because it “often produces an acidic and characterless wine.” However, when I first tasted it, I exclaimed, “That’s delicious!”. It tasted juicy and crisp, green- and white-fruited, and nicely structured (minerally). With some air, the wine showed a little more softness of fruit, with flavors of lighter yellow and green fruit of grape, apple / melon, Asian pear, balancing bitterness of yellow / green grape skin, and lighter minerality. While not as amazing as it seemed at first pour, it is pretty tasty for the price.
The next day, the rest of the wine in the bottle was softer, less minerally, and more fruity, but still quite tasty and pleasant. While not an outstanding wine, it’s pretty good for the price. (A little survived to the third day, and was still quite enjoyable.)