In a nutshell: A long and silky Spanish Chardonnay from the Valencia region.
The lowdown: While the Utiel-Requena region of Valencia is a pretty warm part of the world the high altitude vineyards where Casa Lo Alto have their vineyards is well suited to Chardonnay as demonstrated in this really good white. After whole bunch pressing the wine ages on its lees for five months in French oak which adds subtle vanilla and toasty notes to the intense tropical pineapple flavours and aromas. It has a soft, silky texture and a good crisp acidity.
When to drink: This is a really characterful Spanish Chardonnay and makes a good match to roast white meats and rich poultry dishes.
Founded in 1796, Finca Casa Lo Alto has 60 hectares of vines which together with the estate can be found on the road between the villages of Las Monjas and Casas de Pradas in Utiel-Requena, west of Valencia. It's one of the oldest wine producers in the area. The estate is surrounded by almond groves and pine trees and is blessed with an exceptional terroir. The Mediterranean climate makes it ideal for growing Bobal, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay.
A new winery was constructed in 2006 which allows high quality vinification and there are plans to invest further in the facilities. It's looked after by head winemaker Victor Marqués. In the vineyard the use of artificial pesticides and herbicides is avoided and the fertilisers used on the soils are organic. In the winery minimal intervention is the watchword so as to let the wines fully express their varietal character and that of the unique local terroir.