2010 Clar de Castanyer Xarel-lo Penedes (Previously $20)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(100% xarel-lo; fermented in chestnut barrels): Light yellow-gold. Fresh citrus fruit and pear aromas are complemented by dried flowers, beeswax and chalky minerals. Densely packed but lithe on the palate, offering zesty lemon, orange pith and pear skin flavors and a hint of honeysuckle. Finishes dry and nervy, with very good focus and lingering spiciness.
This rare production is a brilliant expression of the Xarel-lo grape. Fermented in chestnut barrels, it exudes aromas of toasted almonds, dried fig, and apricot. On the palate, this wine is both round and refreshing, showing its character in the form of toasted nut, spice, and dried fruit flavors. Made from 50-year old Xarel-lo vines growing in the natural bush style in the mountains above the Mediterranean, this is a very unique wine. On the dry side, this wine shows bright acidity while retaining a roundness that makes it a perfect pairing for many fish dishes with enough body to stand up to lighter meat and game fare. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)