The five best wines from the province of Málaga
Every year ‘Sabor a Malaga’, the promotion platform for regional products, chooses the best wines from the province in the various categories white, red and sweet. The jury consisted of six of the province’s leading sommeliers who blindly tasted all the wines. This year’s winners are Afrutado Seco Cortijo La Fuente 2018 from Bodegas Cortijo La Fuente, Ariyanas Naturalmente Dulce 2018 from Bodegas Bentomiz, Lunares Tinto 2018 from Bodegas Lunares, Vinana 2015 from Bodegas Kieninger and Oro Viejo from Bodegas Quitapenas. On June 27, Experiencia Verema Malaga organized a special wine tasting in the beautiful Miramar hotel in Malaga, where the five winners were tasted by fifty wine professionals. The wines were served in perfect harmony with regional products, selected by chef Sergio Garrido. The Malaga Wine Guide was invited.
Afrutado Seco Cortijo La Fuente 2018, from Bodegas Cortijo La Fuente
It is not the first time that this bodega from Mollina has won awards. This time with the dry white wine of Moscatel de grano menudo and Pedro Ximen. It has been a real trend in recent years to make dry wines from this aromatic grape in addition to the well-known sweet wines from moscatel. Wine full of floral scents of orange blossom and jasmine, to a hint of fennel complemented with beautiful citrus notes. The bodega uses the difficult to translate term ‘afrutado’ for this wine, which does not mean sweet or semi-sweet, but refers to a dry wine with a sweet-fruity character. The wine does not ‘feel’ dry, as it were, but it is.
The wine has a fantastic price / quality ratio.
Ariyanas Naturalmente Dulce 2018
A beautiful sweet wine from the ‘Dutch’ bodega Bentomiz. No surprise on the list of winners because various wines from this bodega are served in restaurants with Michelin stars. This wine is the pure elegance and expression of moscatel in a sweet wine. The wine has a nice acidity to be downright fresh and to give the wine the right balance between sweet and acidity. The wine even has some minerality. In the wine preparation ‘naturalemente dulce’ no tricks have been used, for example by adding alcohol to stop the fermentation prematurely in order to create sufficient residual sugar. It is pure nature from late harvested, ripe grapes that yield wine with sufficient residual sugar of itself after the fermentation of the must into wine.
A wine that is an excellently made modern sweet wine.
Lunares Tinto 2018 from Bodegas Lunares
A powerful proof that Ronda is playing an increasingly important role as a producer of excellent red wines. What people inside and outside the province are enthusiastic about. This wine is a blend of mainly Syrah (55%) and also Tempranillo, Merlot and Granacha. A wine with plenty of character due to the robust and powerful Syrah, but also a velvety wine due to, among other things, the soft tannins. A wine that invites you to keep drinking. Fresh due to the height of the vineyards of 600 to 1000 meters, but also ‘warm’ due to the microclimate of the area. A short wood aging period of 6 months is just enough to give the wine some extra structure.
Vinana 2015 from Bodegas Kieninger
Bodega Keiniger is known for its completely natural, ecological production method and its own style in search of the pure character of the various grape varieties. This wine is made from three French grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. At first sight this looks like a Bordeaux imitation, but it is by no means. The wine has a nice complexity, but is lighter and downright juicier and is easier to drink due to, among other things, very soft, ripe tannins. Deep red cherry color and full of ripe red fruit on the nose and in the mouth. Crispy, pure nature. Mountain herbs and white pepper add extra spice.
Oro Viejo from Bodegas Quitapenas
If we are talking about a wine from the real tradition of Malaga, it is this wine from Bodegas Quitapenas. A ‘vino de licor’ (fortified wine) with five years of wood aging (trasaňejo) made from Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel de Alejandria. Deep dark color with high sugar content. In nose and mouth a sultry mix of overripe raisins, honey, ‘pastelleria’, a hint of almond and the ‘old’ wood of the solera. Nice viscous, hanging in the mouth. A wine at the very other end of the spectrum of sweet wines from the province that starts with ‘naturalemente dulce’ and ends with these heavy powerhouses. A true delight for the true lover of these types of wines. Also excellent price / quality ratio.
For these beautiful winning wines from the province, chef Sergio Garrido chose appropriate regional products with the label ‘Sabor a Malaga’, including goat cheeses from the province, honey from Frigiliana, olives from Alora, and ‘chivo lechal’ from Malaga (difficult to translate, compare with suckling lamb but made of goat) and ‘tomato heuvo de toros’ from Coin (literally translated tomato bull’s ball or very large tomatoes).
It has been proven once again that regional wines often go well with local produce. It pays to shop based on the kilometer zero philosophy. The closer to home the better. Good for people and the environment. Do not forget the champions of the province.