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Natural White Wines - Four To Try
This month we launch our new range of Natural wines, from bright and juicy reds to our focus here...
This month we launch our new range of Natural wines, from bright and juicy reds to our focus here, complex, food-friendly and delicious natural white wines. Here are four we think you should try out. You can read more about our approach to natural wine here.
Made from the native Sicilian white grape Cataratto, this is a very gentle and great value introduction to natural white wine. In as warm a climate as Sicily, you'd expect the grapes to be incredibly ripe and lead to intense fruit aromas but this has been made very carefully, and probably with the grapes picked slightly early, as well as at night. The result is lower alcohol and higher acidity, making this a crisp and gently aromatic white to enjoy with lighter dishes.
Martin and Anna Arndorfer make their wines in the Kamptal region of Austria, just west of Vienna in the east of the country. Their approach is stemmed in a respect for nature, with sustainability the keyword. After training in Italy, Martin chose vineyards to farm from his own parent's estate, now managing 16 hectares in total having taken over the family winery in 2012.
As with many natural white wines, this Riesling is cloudy from a lack of filtering and therefore appears to have a little more texture than your average example from typical places like Germany, Alsace in France or Australia. It has a wonderful salted lemon character, so it makes perfect sense to pair this with North African and Middle Eastern dishes.
A white from the often blisteringly hot southeast of Spain, in Alicante. Winemaker Rafa Bernabe and wife Olga started out to protect local viticulture, at a time when the risk of commercial development of vineyards was high. This is almost an orange wine, that is to say, one in which the grape must has spent a short amount of time in contact with the skins, in the same way as a red wine would be made.
The result is a wine with more texture than your average white wine, and some delicious orange peel notes, which balance delightfully with the floral tones of the Moscatel grape. Despite the heat, this relatively low in alcohol and has a decent amount of acidity, making it wonderful with food.
Arianna Occhipinti learnt to make wine with her uncle Giusto, who runs the winery COS in the very southeast of Sicily. Arianna's own winery is now a stone's throw away, where she makes a range of delicious, complex and very enjoyable wines from native Sicilian grapes. SP68 is named after the road that runs near to the winery, and made from a blend of Muscat of Alexandria and Albanello.
The wine is made with a little skin contact, and therefore has a little orange tinge to the colour. This also adds some delicious spice to the rich fruit character of the grapes, making this perfect with light pastas or even tricky to match south-east Asian dishes that meld heat, salt, sweet, sour and bitter.
These natural white wines are a little different from the usual but all wonderful in their own way. Give them a go on your next order, in-store or maybe even in The Wine Library.