This week I spent some time exploring the wines of Manhattan, and before I knew it I’d been swept into a sea storm – an ocean of wine with crimson waves crashing overhead. Just when I surmised the current was too great to stay afloat, the clouds part, the ocean calmed, and ahead a promising outlook as I approached land with an unexpected journey to the Canary Islands by way of E.ViL.
As I scanned the wine list at Terroir in Manhattan’s East Village, starting at the top and gazing quickly down the list of appellations I’ve come to adore, my attention was drawn to a wine of which I recognized from Valle de la Orotava. I’d had a bit of experience with the wines of Spain through my travels and hosted tasting – Txakoli from Basque Country, Priorat and Ribero del Duero, but this one was special. A unique red farmed on the volcanic soils of the largest of the Canary Islands situated just about 60 miles off the southwest coast of Morocco, on Tenerife, with its black sand and long strand – truly begotten by paradise.
Experts and critics like The New York Times writer Eric Asimov, have praised the wine from this region over the years, and I am familiar with one of its producers Tajinaste through research on the islands, however, this was the first taste encounter I’d had with a Canary Islands wine, and that made me extremely happy. I excitedly solicited our pourer for information about the wine and before he could he could check (as it had apparently been added to the list the day before) a splash was in my glass, swirling around and then filling my mouth and I was slowly savoring the wine, exploring each layer of complexity and depth like you might do with a piece from Dali. I was in love. I almost didn’t care to do more than drink it in that moment, but my curiosity brought me back to reality and I instantly knew that the subject of my next piece would be this wine.
2011 Suertes del Marqués | 7 Fuentes | Valle de la Orotava
Tenerife | Canary Islands
This Canary Island wine is a blend primarily of Listan Negro and 10% Tintilla, and was fermented and aged in the combination of concrete tanks and French oak barrels. Importer Jose Pastor Selections’ staff aptly describes it: “Pale red. Fruity, peppery fruit and quite light with some of the island’s volcanic soils showing through. Very appealing, round and early-maturing. Transparent fruit and a satisfying finish. A grainy quality – or am I thinking of the famous black sands of Tenerife? Long.” – JR http://www.josepastorselections.com/
Tenerife is largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands; it is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 km² and 898,680 inhabitants(43% of the total population of the Canary Islands). Read more about the grape here as Eric Asimov, NY Times writer takes you through this archipelago of Spain.
Where to Buy:
The 2010 vintage is available for $21.99 at K&L Wines. “This is definitely an early contender for Canary red of the year, and a producer to keep an eye on.” – Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer.