I’ve been reading a lot of Patrick Modiano lately. There’s something about his writing style – those staccato bursts of observation that immediately acclimates you to the narrator’s location – that refuses to let me escape his worlds. In his book After the Circus, he spends what most would feel is an excessively long amount of time describing the streets the main characters are on, but having lived in Paris (the setting of the book), I delight in being able to hone in exactly on where these people are, contrasting what I envision their 1960s city might be in comparison to the one I know and love.
(This is what also – despite the since proven errors in driving directions – drew me into the first chapters of The Da Vinci Code, so sue me for being a basic cartography nerd.)
That same series of flash location notes is what immediately appeals to me about Vina Bodega Matias i Torres’ “Las Machuqueras”. I have never been to the Canary Islands, from where this white 100% Listan Bianco wine hails, but drinking a glass of this puts me right on a volcanic soil beach, basking in salty Atlantic sea breezes and savoring a piece of lemony fish under mojo verde. Every sip gives you an instant clip of the single vineyard from which these grapes were grown. I’m lying down on my Brooklyn mattress in my bathing suit right now.
Listan Bianco is the same grape as Palomino, a Spanish grape primarily known for its use in sherry. In sherry, I’ve often found that palomino fino demonstrates almond, green olive and vanilla notes. In the Las Machuqueras, I get bitter melon, lemon oil, some of that classic nuttiness, and a whole lot of salinity and minerality. The wine world loves to talk about how soil and location affects what you taste in the glass and I think this wine would convince any skeptics that terroir is gospel baby and you better have faith. This wine tastes like oysters shot straight from the shell, chased with a buttery mushroom and then you bit a mother fucking lemon wedge, #justbecause.
This wine comes from old vines (40-120 years old) and you should really check out these photos of what Canary Islands vines look like, because they are like nothing from which you’d ever imagine wine could come. Made organically using spontaneous fermentation, set on the lees for seven months, and aged with traditional wine making techniques for the island, this wine is a bottle of late-summer vacation waiting for adventurous drinkers to take a sip. ($21.99, found at Some Good Wine)