If we were to make a list of the most important white varieties grown in Spain, the Chardonnay and Verdejo grapes would surely have a place of honour. (The list would be almost complete if we added the varieties Albariño, Xarel.lo, Godello, Macabeu and White Grenache.)

A native of Burgundy, Chardonnay is not only the world's best known white grape, but arguably the best known grape whatsoever, whether they be white or red.

Relatively easy to grow, Chardonnay ripens quite early, has a relatively high alcohol content and a medium-low acidity.

Planted all over the world, when grown in hot climates it produces wines that show tropical aromas and have a smooth texture. When grown in cooler climates, Chardonnay tends to produce wines that are more crisp and have a higher acidity. In both cases, the wine is frequently aged in oak barrels.

We have prepared a selection of five high-quality, single varietal Spanish Chardonnays.

From Alicante, the great winemaker Enrique Mendoza presents Enrique Mendoza Chardonnay Fermentado en Barrica, a lively, precise wine with original salty nuances. Currently, the 2015 vintage is out of stock. The 2016 one, which promises to be one of the best of the last years, will be released in April.

A classic from Somontano, Enate Chardonnay Fermentado en Barrica 2014, is a yummy, delicately creamy wine produced by Bodegas Enate.

From Alella, Catalonia's tiniest Designation of Origin, Parvus Chardonnay 2015 is a white wine made from organic grapes and produced by Celler Alta Alella.

Expressive and classy, Miranda d'Espiells 2015 is another organic white wine produced in Penedès by Juvé y Camps.

We remain in Penedès to suggest that you take a look at Augustus Chardonnay 2015, a little-known, exquisite wine of the Celler Augustus Forum.

Now let's talk about Verdejo. A native from Rueda, in the northern area of the Castilian plateau, it is believed that the variety was brought in the region by Mozarab settlers in the XIth century.

Less glamorous than Chardonnay, the Verdejo grape nevertheless has a higher natural acidity and a very distinctive character. The wines crafted from Verdejo usually show some unmistakable herbal notes and subtly bitter nuances that bring them a very interesting personality. The variety also has a good ageing potential.

Here you have our five suggestions. Five excellent wines, all of them single varietals, made from Verdejo.

We begin with Menade Verdejo 2016 a young, delicious organic white produced by Bodegas Menade.

Made from centenary, ungrafted vines Blanco Nieva Pie Franco 2015, by Viñedos de Nieva, is a precise, pristine wine at an exceptional price.

Bold and mineral, José Pariente Fermentado en Barrica 2014 is a wine of the José Pariente winery that was aged for 6 months in oak barrels.

From the producer of one of Spain's best white wines, Belondrade Quinta Apolonia 2015 is a cheerful product that fuses Castilian austerity and French charm. Made by the great Didier Belondrade.

We finish with Shaya Habis 2012, a limited-production wine of Bodegas y Viñedos Shaya made from very old vines. Remarkable depth and great ageing potential.


Until our next post,

Enjoy wine