An intriguing wine, with some of those cool climate Sauvignon Blanc notes of fresh cut grass and gooseberry mingling with stone fruit and Key lime. On the palate, there is an invigorating freshness from vibrant acidity. Richer than the nose seems, with apricot, lime, pink grapefruit notes. There is some grassiness, but it’s in the background. Pair with summer salads, baked white fish in a lemon caper beurre blanc or enjoy chilled on the patio.
In the south of Spain, along the Mediterranean coast, Macabeo can be found in various areas, most notably Valencia, Yecla and Jumilla. There are few universal truths about how Macabeo tastes. The wines can be fresh, floral and aromatic when harvested sufficiently early and aged in stainless steel, but weighty, honeyed and nutty when aged in oak and harvested slightly later. Typically, they are characterized by acidity, freshness and subtle citrus and green apple aromas.
Chozas Carrascal is located in Valencia, in Spain’s Mediterranean east. A number of factors combine to create the special conditions at this estate. The property sits at 700m above sea level, approximately 40 miles (65 km) from the coast. Despite its proximity to the sea, the climate is decidedly continental, making for hot summers, cold winters and large diurnal temperature variations. The estate’s dry setting is somewhat offset by its limestone-rich soils, which importantly retain moisture. DO Utiel-Requena produces mostly red wines and nearly 95% of the vineyards are planted with red grape varieties.
Chozas Carrascal has been daring in its viticulture approach, planting its vines at a density of 1,335/acre (3,300/ha), far denser than any vineyards nearby. This forces vines to compete for water and nutrients and drives yields down. The vineyards grow on a slight slope. Sunlight, cool coastal breezes and loamy, chalky soil all contribute to the quality of the wines produced.
Hand-harvested grapes are given eight hours of maceration, extracting colour and complexity, before a long, cool ferment. The wine is fermented in concrete tanks and aged in stainless steel before bottling.