Spain has some of the most convivial bars for a delicious crawl but frustratingly for a wine lover, some have a limited wine selection by the glass. Try finding a fresh copa of Manzanilla outside Andalucia or anything elsewhere apart from the ubiquitous Tempranillo or Verdejo, Spain’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc. Or perhaps it’s my prejudice about grapes beginning with a V? Oops, Macabeo’s name in Rioja is Viura, perhaps we can stick to the former to maintain the unreasonableness? This example of Macabeo is from the hills of Yecla, 150kms inland from the beaches around Alicante where it’s probably drunk by the tanker load. An interesting but recently a less loved variety, here it doesn’t shout too much but shows low key but complex smells of chamomile, green apple, olive, and sort of plasticine. Widens out nicely in the mouth and then tails off, leaving a good pithy grip and firm but fair mineral acidity, tinged with a breath of oxidising sun burnt skins like a warm sea breeze. Could be enjoyed without paying too much attention but enough going on for those seeking a taste of an authentic Mediterranean grape.
12% alcohol. Screwcap, yes. $21.
88 points but a decent bonus for a cleverly made, properly authentic to region drink.