2018 Manar dos Seixas, Galician Roots, Gallina de Piel, Ribeiro, Spain
Made by El Bulli ex-sommelier David Seijas, my headline wine and also a red called 2018 Roca del Crit, Windy Roads to Montjoi (£19.99) are both absolutely extraordinary. Manar is authoritative, extremely complex and tightly wound, based on treixadura with albariño, godello and loureiro bringing immeasurable class to proceedings. It opens slowly in the glass to reveal ozone-tinged, near-tropical fruit underpinned with severe minerality. It is one of the most grown-up and exacting Spanish white wines I have tasted in years and it is a classic David creation in that it is designed to drink with epic cooking.
Manar’s red brother Roca is a made from ancient carignan vines situated in the Rabós sub-region of Empordà, coupled with grenache harvested from younger vines in the Mas Marés zone. Some whole bunches are used and new and old larger format barrels are also employed judiciously. This does not taste like a Spanish Rhône blend to me; in fact, it reminds me of a masculine, toned, elemental Santenay, but with a much darker purple ink hue and extraordinary class.
David sent me preview samples in early July and so I have waited patiently for these staggeringly serious wines to arrive. Today is the day! Get cooking and then pour these two wines for a genuinely fascinating, out-of-body tasting experience.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)