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In the middle of summer, I crave fresh, lighter white wines, preferably with little or no oak but with good complexity and a price that will permit me to buy plenty of them to have on hand to sip with weekend lunches, before dinner or with the fresh fish and shellfish.
With those requirements, I tend to gravitate to the wines of the lesser-known appellations of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, which can still offer excellent values. One of them is Avelino Vegas’s 2013 “Abadía Real” verdejo-viura blend, a $9 Vino de la Tierra from the large Castilla y León region of northwest Spain.
In the classification hierarchy of Spanish wines, Vinos de la Tierra are a step below Denominación de Origen wines, but as this one shows, they can over-deliver on quality for the price, which is exactly what I’m looking for. With modest alcohol of 12 percent, the wine is both easy to drink and interesting, with pear, white peach, tropical fruit and subtle vanilla notes. An impressive summer value. Imported by Spain Wine Collection, Congers, N.Y.