Wine Spectator's Matt Kramer visits the Canary Islands and finds the wines "collectively clean, pure-tasting and different..."

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Bodegas Tajinaste

In his most recent "Drinking Out Loud" column at Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer describes a Canary Island education that started with a complete tabula rasa. "It was just a handful of years ago that Canary Island wines were unknown and unseen in America. I certainly knew nothing about them," he writes. "Then the wines began to trickle in, sporting obscure varietal names such as Listán Negro, Listán Blanco, Negramoll, Vijariego, Marmajuelo and Tintilla, among others. The producers’ names were equally unfamiliar. Even with the labels in full view it was, at least for me, like tasting blind. I knew nothing except what my palate told me."

We are delighted (if not surprised) to report what he discovered: "The message I repeatedly received was both clear and compelling—these wines tasted really good. They had surprisingly crisp, refreshing acidity, which I didn’t expect from so southerly a location. The flavors were original, and the winemaking was modern in the best sense of that word. Almost none of the wines had any apparent oakiness. They were, collectively, clean, pure-tasting and different. I had to see these vineyards and talk to some producers."

Read the rest of his assessment on the Wine Spectator website here: