Our Wine Choice: 2007 Bodegas Bentomiz, Ariyanas Naturalmente Dulce
Illuminating Inner Ring preview
We remain in Andalucia for another day but instead of visiting the Costa del Sol the riders are racing through the olive groves inland. The climax today features the excruciatingly steep 27-30% ramp into the town of Valdepeñas de Jaén. Everyone seems to think it’s a sure fire win for the explosive Spanish climber Rodrigo ‘Purito’ Rodriguez.
Yesterday’s change in overall race leadership to Irishman Nicolas Roche was a sweet confirmation of his form in the race this year as he dominates in all competitions except he points jersey. With sweetness in mind we turn to look at the incomparably lovely nectars this part of Spain is rightly famous for.
Perhaps the most historically famous style was Malaga Sack. Made from Moscatel grapes which were sun dried to concentrate the sugars and evaporate the water content. Sadly this style of wine is virtually extinct as far as export markets are concerned yet anyone who has tried today’s selection is instantly won over.
Featured at The World’s Best Restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, this modern interpretation of an ancient wine came about through happenstance by Hispanophiles Clara Verheij and André Both who are originally from Holland.
Using 4kg of grapes to produce 1 litre of wine means this has pretty insane concentration and the nose smells wonderfully of fresh grapes, melon, orange blossoms and honey. It has a dancing quality in the mouth despite the richness and concentration. Paired with creamy blue cheese and a slice of pear is all that’s needed to create a perfect end to a meal.