Alicante's Rafa Bernabé is making some of the purest and most stimulating natural wines in Spain. We were pleased to see Rafa's reds earn admirers and are now pleased to present one of his whites: Viña de Simon is 100% Merseguera from a single sandy hectare of 70-year-old, phylloxera-resistant vines. Merseguera is usually blended with fuller-bodied, more perfumed varieties, but Bernabe's doesn't need it! Vivid aromas of orange skins, bitter almond, gardenia, clove, and petrol precede a vigorous palate of orange oil, lime peels, pear skins, grippy tannins, white pepper, and the bitter pith of chewed-up lemon seeds. There is great tension and acidity to this white, making it a mouthwatering apéritif or unexpected pairing with meatier fish, roasted chicken with lemon and garlic, rich charcuterie, and roasted vegetables with citrus and herbs. AR
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