We like to drink the sort of wines Alice Feiring is always on about: wines made naturally, fermented using spontaneous yeast and with as few additives and interference as possible. Terras Gauda’s O’Rosal is one such wine, a crisp and aromatic albarino-based blend that also incorporates loureiro and caino blanco, the two other grapes that grow in the Rias Baixas, a wine-producing region in Galicia where albarino is king. We had the chance to meet with the winemaker, Emilio Rodriguez, at Boqueria SoHo last night, who told us that his is the only winery in the region to have isolated and patented its own native yeast and one of only a handful to have done so in all of Spain.
“I think it’s very dangerous to use commercial yeast,” he said over lightly fried pimientos de Padron and a couple glasses of his wine. “Because you start to get the banana flavors, the bakery flavors, which is [not what these grapes are supposed to taste like].”
At 12 percent alcohol, the 2008 O’Rosal is very drinkable, which is a treat over long summer dinners during which many glasses are poured. Redolent of lush tropical fruits and minty herbs, it’s more complex than a straight albarino, and has a silkier mouthfeel. It’s a good time for wines that fall into the category of “aromatic whites,” Rodriguez continued. People get bored with the same old Chardonnay offered everywhere. Amen. At $24 per bottle, it’s a minor splurge, but then we already knew that Spanish wines are no longer bargain options.