UBE 2013

There are many reasons to come to Surtopia (as discussed ad nauseam here, here and here) and not the least of them is the chance to drink singular wines like this one.

This is yet another of the fascinating projects of Ramiro Ibañez and, since the artistic photo is a bit blurry I need to fill in some blanks. This is the 2013, the full name is “Ube de uberrina” (uberrina meaning “utmost”) it is labelled “Palomino Centenario” (100 year old palomino) and it also references the kind of albariza soil involved – albariza de antehojuelas (new to me – will see what I can find out). The back label has yet more intriguing information, showing that the fruit is from a small finca called Las Vegas and the cepage is 73% palomino fino (the now dominant strain of palomino, originally from Sanlucar), 16% palomino jerezano (which I believe is aka palomino de jerez or palomino basto – originally the dominant grape but now much less common) and 11% palomino peluson (new to me). It says on the label that these are the original “roots” (by which I assume we are talking pre-phylloxera).

So a fascinating CV, no doubt about it, and the resulting wine is very fine stuff indeed. As you can see it is a pale but solid gold colour with green notes – crystal clear and appetising. It has an elegant nose with very subtle notes that are floral/herbal (honeysuckle and rosemary) and mineral (limestone rather than seasalt).

On the palate it is dry but has flavours that suggest sweetness – sweet herbs and almonds – and just enough mineral bite. Brilliant balance to it too: it is really fresh, clean and elegant. Brilliant stuff – maybe not the huge flavour profile of some white wines but classy and utterly enjoyable.

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