I shopped my trusty local Food Co-Op the other day for some unusual whites to satisfy this month's Wine Focus. I basically bought anything I could identify as not a usual suspect. This 2007 Barbadillo Palomina Fina is the first one of those we've popped, and though we didn't know what to expect and therefore can't claim to have hand-chosen this wine for our food, I can't imagine a better pairing than this pleasantly low-acid wine (though not soft) with the heirlooom tomato salad dressed with just basil, EVOO and salt accompanied by grilled chicken sausages that was our dinner.
Palomina Fina, most here will know, is the base grape for sherry, and Barbadillo is a two century old sherry bodega. But this is not a fortified wine. I understand that most Spanish sherry houses actually make unfortified dry whites for local consumption, but I don't believe I've ever seen one in this country before. We loved it. And even without the oxidative flavors and brandy fortification, and even without the sweetness of the amontillado style he loves, a sherry lover like my husband could instantly identify the relationship between that eventual product and this charming dry white. There's an alabaster-white minerality amid the baked bosc pear, fig and raw blanched almond fruit. There's a caramel tone far away in the background, too, even though it's completely dry. On the palate the fruit's plenty rich without being big, and the wine has a well-balanced, round mouthfeel. Overall, this wine delivers a lot more than one expects for $7. Speaking of balance, the low acidity--not flabby, just lower than the young whites we normally drink--is nicely offset by remarkably low alcohol--just 11.5%.
My husband didn't just ask--he ordered--me to go back for more. I will!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov