Utiel-Requena is an appellation in east-central Spain, in the hills above Valencia. It is generally believed that these warm climates produce strong wines, and this has long been the case. But the altitude in these regions also allows the production of wines with surprising freshness. Cultivated on a high limestone plateau, at an altitude of 900 meters, the Macabeo and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties preserve their acidity and allow the production of this fresh and light wine. A pretty nose opens the ball, with aromas of citrus, herbs and green apple. The palate is very fresh, with notes of zest and light bitterness which add depth. Dry, simple, but very well made, it is an all-purpose wine that can be drunk alone with pleasure, and which will also accompany green salads, a risotto with green vegetables, a pan-fried fish with olive oil, lemon and fresh herbs.
Keep: to drink
Coming from the same region as Fuenteseca, this red wine is made entirely with bobal, a very old local grape variety, the most cultivated in these regions. Capable of producing colorful and powerful wines, and many ordinary wines, it is sometimes vinified to highlight its fruity brilliance. This is the case here, and thanks among other things to the freshness of the grapes grown at altitude, we end up with a light and lively wine. Its color is pale and its nose is fruity, with aromas of raspberry and cherry, as well as a hint of flowers and garrigue. Dry, light, fresh and not very tannic, it is a simple but enjoyable wine, provided it is served chilled. It will accompany fish with tomatoes and herbs, beetroot and goat cheese salad, and beef tartare.
Keep: to drink
Despite a price increase of more than a dollar, this wine remains among the best purchases to make at the SAQ. Coming from a trading activity, headed by the Verhaeghe brothers – who are among the greatest winegrowers in Cahors – it is made with Malbec and 10% Merlot. With a strong color, it offers a very pretty nose, with the scent of blackberries, brambles and blueberries, with notes of black earth, ink and spices. And what a beautiful mouth! It shows substance, with ripe fruit, but also a lot of freshness. Moderate tannins, fine and slightly firm, stretch out in the finish. Its complexity and durability are impressive at this price. Perfect for the table with steak and fries, duck confit, braised beef.
Keeping: 2 to 3 years