Envinate Benje White, Santiago del Teide, Tenerife, Spain 2017

Benje White.jpg
Benje White.jpg

Envinate Benje White, Santiago del Teide, Tenerife, Spain 2017


Fascinating, unusual and perplexing, perhaps, but downright delicious too. This is a wine to show anyone with a little curiosity for the esoteric in their veins. The grapes are grown on a volcanic island in the Atlantic Ocean and the wine has all the mineral, saline, marine qualities that you might expect, but the fruit is there in full ripeness too, so it's a wonderful cymbal crash of flavours, showing bitter lemon, grapefruit, sour mash, wet stones, star fruit and green melon. It’s partially aged under a veil of yeast, known as flor, so there’s also a warm, nutty, saline quality running through it. Organically and biodynamically farmed. 12.5% alc. Drink now-2022.

Press reviews: 

The Wine Advocate: "The white 2017 Benje Blanco is produced with Listán Blanco (a.k.a. Palomino) grapes from Santiago del Teide. After their experience working in Montilla Moriles with flor, they started using it here too. So, in 2017, 35% of the wine matured in concrete vats with a layer of flor yeasts (and that percentage goes up to 60% in 2018!), as they like the result— it sharpens the wines and makes them finer. It also gives the wine a spicy twist, more complexity and depth, more nuance. The wine is only around 12%, and despite that, the flor is quite healthy and thick, more in the style of Sherry than Jura. It has a little bit of nut and a yeasty character, very subtle—perhaps also aided by the Mediterranean year—and the palate is sharp and dry, serious and tasty. The volume that does not age in concrete with flor is in topped-up 228-litre barrels, and the élevage was around seven months. They now work more vineyards in the zone. Drink now-2022" 91 points

Decanter: “A volcanic, Atlantic wine, all sea salt and herbal notes, made from grapes grown at an altitude of some 1,000m on the slopes of the Teido volcano. Robert Santana ferments in a selection of concrete, foudres and Burgundy barriques in order to create a subtle background to the fruit. Drink now-2022.” 91 points

Customer comments:

Thanks for the advice to decant the Benji, quite reductive at first. Very impressive wine, we really like the fact it spent time under flor.  Serious stuff.” - Mr. T.M.

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Farming: organic