2022 Suertes del Marqués, “Trenzado” Blanco, Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife
2022 Suertes del Marqués, “Trenzado” Blanco, Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife

2022 Suertes del Marqués, “Trenzado” Blanco, Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife

Canary Islands, Spain 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$35.00
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2022 Suertes del Marqués, “Trenzado” Blanco, Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife

There’s so much “somewhere-ness” to this white from Suertes del Marqués it shouts it from the rooftops, and when you learn that the somewhere in question is the remote Canary Islands—and that the wine can be had for such a reasonable price—you can’t help but be blown away. There are many wine regions where the produce doesn’t live up to the history, or the setting, but on the island of Tenerife, there is a renaissance underway. One of the in-demand stars of this movement is Jonatan García Lima of Suertes del Marqués.

Set among vineyards that spill down steep hillsides towards the Atlantic—many of them trained in the traditional cordón trenzado method, wherein the “arms” (cordons) of the grapevine are fashioned into long, winding braids—Suertes del Marqués has introduced the broader wine world to the Valle de la Orotava, an appellation on the cooler, northern end of the island. In the dark, ashy volcanic soils formed by the nearby Teide volcano, Jonathan works with native varieties such as Listán Blanco and Negro to fashion whites and reds infused with profound mineral depth and cool-climate precision. Having offered previous vintages of this wine, I’m thinking there will be a flash of recognition among our subscribers, and I’m here to tell you: This is the qualitative equal of any long-established, world-class white wine you can imagine. It's also so unique, so wholly its own thing, that it isn’t necessary to compare it to anything else. Just celebrate it—this is magical stuff!

As we learned during our visit to the region a few years ago, García Lima is operating out of a spanking-new winery, which is tucked into a hillside overlooking the Atlantic. Prior to starting the Suertes del Marqués label in 2006, Jonatan’s family had grown grapes in the Valle de la Orotava; they now draw on 11 hectares of organically farmed estate vineyards, along with a host of other local growers who work according to their specifications. The vineyards range from 300 to 750 meters’ elevation, in soils largely comprised of dark, sandy, volcanic ash. As is the case in other such island terroirs (whose soils proved resistant to phylloxera), many of these vineyards contain extremely old vines, including some ungrafted parcels exceeding 100, even 150, years of age. Along with Listán Blanco and Negro, the two best-known native grapes on Tenerife, they also work with Pedro Xímenez, Tintilla, Baboso Negro, and other field-blended local varieties.

Crafted from 95% Listán Blanco (which, it should be noted, is known as Palomino Fino in Sherry/Jerez), today’s white is very naturally made, with no sulfur added during fermentation and the smallest-possible amount added at bottling. Everything is done by hand, including the harvest, of course, which is followed by fermentations on native yeasts in a mixture of concrete tanks and used 500-liter French oak barrels. A similar mix of concrete and used oak is employed for aging, which lasts for about eight months. Most of the aging wine was left in contact with its lees (spent yeast cells) during this aging period, which lends a fresh, lip-smacking quality with some creamy depth and texture. 

Ultimately, though, the story of this wine is its profound mineral component. In the glass, it displays a medium yellow-gold core with silvery reflections, with aromas of salted lemon, citrus blossoms, white peach, Anjou pear, flint, smoke, chalk…just about every “mineral” tasting note one could conjure. It is medium-bodied, with some richness to the texture, its acidity mouthwatering but not excessively sharp. Put this on a table next to some higher-priced white Burgundies and it might well come out the winner—it’s that good. I’d suggest splashing this effort in a decanter about 30 minutes before serving in white wine stems at 50 degrees, with just about any type of seafood in play as a potential pairing. 

2022 Suertes del Marqués, “Trenzado” Blanco, Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife

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