Canary Island wines took center stage at Txikiteo for a special tasting event last week. Participants were treated to what distributer Ryan McReynolds called “a 10,000-foot view” of the island community of Tenerife, where farmers and winemakers have been producing wine for centuries. With its unique mix of influences ranging from Atlantic Ocean exposure to high and dry volcanic conditions, this small island produces wines known for their variety and distinction. A mix of brief and information-packed discussion and lots of informal, free-flowing conversation, the event was like the best kind of dinner party.
If you missed the tasting, don’t despair; you can still sample some of these special wines. Three of them have been added to Txikiteo’s list for the month of February: a 2017 Envínate 'Benje' Tinto and 2017 Envínate 'Benje' Blanco; and a 2017 Dolores Cabrera Fernández 'La Araucaria' Tinto.
The approach to these wines is singular and natural, from vineyards that are worked organically; most are bottled without fining or filtration. The Dolores Cabrera Fernández is a beautiful wine with a bit of funk and a lot of red and black fruit notes. The Envínate wines (“Real Wine from Real Folks”) are both old-vine sourced and hand-harvested; the Benje Tinto is a pure expression of high-elevation, volcanic Canary terroir, with notes of red fruit, peppercorn, and flowers. The Benje Blanco is a high-toned white wine, with smoky notes, an orchard fruit core, and a refreshing acidity.
Viticulture in the Canaries began with the Spanish colonization of the area in the fifteenth century—which means they’ve had plenty of time to get it right. Come down and find out what 500 years of experience tastes like. ⧫