Region To Watch: Canary Islands

More wines from this region are showing up in your shop’s Spanish section, and are worth a try.

Thanks to a new push to seduce American drinkers, more wines from the Canary Islands are showing up in your shop’s Spanish section—many of them in curiously shaped bottles like this Los Bermejos Listán Rosado from the island of Lanzarote. On paper, the small archipelago off the Atlantic coast of Morocco is hardly ideal for grape growing. It’s sub-tropical and so windswept that farmers build semicircular walls to shield the vines, many of which are rooted in volcanic soil. Despite the challenging conditions, Canary producers are upping their output of well-made, affordable dry wine. And, while other varieties share some soil space, most of the Canary’s grapes are indigenous, like Listán Blanco, Tintilla and Malvasia. When you try a Canary wine, look for the region’s signature bold fruit aromas, earthy flavors and a taste-the-sea ­salinity. 

These Canaries Sing

2013 Los Bermejos Listán Rosado
Peach aromas and flavors, bold minerality and a subtle salinity that shows on the finish.

2009 Monje Tenerife Tinto Tradicional
A blend of Listán Negro and Negramoll, big and spicy, but tamed by cherry notes.

2011 Fronton De Oro Gran Canaria Malpais
An easy drinker, with black fruit and grass flavors and a slight hint of anise.

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