Benje, a white wine from the Canary Islands, is another stellar offering from Spain's Envinate. The grape here is Listan, also known as Palomino, a grape often used in sherry production on the mainland. This wine, upon first taste is an assault of minerals and tart citrus.
The Envinate wines from the Canary Islands and many whites I've had from the islands have focused minerality and even hints of salinity ahead of fruit. There is something aside from tart citrus in the fruit here, something juicy but a bit rounder. In some respects this wine is more generally approachable than other whites from the same area and from the same producer.
At under 30 a bottle this is a wine that will appeal to lovers of cold weather production chardonnays--Chablis and the like. it isn't the same as those--far different in it's volcanic minerality but there are enough reference points that fans of those may be intrigued by this. Perhaps even more it resembles some Southern Spanish blends but for different reasons.
This is the first vintage of this particular wine from a truly innovative group of winemakers. If this first year is any indication wonders are to come.
I don't decant all that often but this one is tight right out of the bottle. But it doesn't take tons of time to calm down. The thing is? It is good all wound up and tight and it is good when it loosens up. So , don't decant it. Try it both ways this is a wine you want to experience as many ways as you can. Lovely, clever wine. There is something almost perfect about this but perfection in wine is always partly a matter of taste.
Listan, as a grape, is worth further discussion and research. As noted, Listan/Palomino is used in sherry. There are three sherry grapes--Moscatel, Pedro Ximenez and Palomino. The latter being the most widely used in dry sherry.
When you read about non-fortified wine made with Palomino you will hear how it is characterless, bland and blah blah blah; does this sound familiar? It is what is said about half the grapes written about on this site. And it may well be true in one area or based on decisions made by winemakers but that does not mean it is always true. Do not just go on what you read in a publication that writes about the same four grapes as if they are the only ones on the planet.
Think also of grapes like Melon de Bourgogne. The name tells you where it comes from but it isn't grown there anymore but it found a home in the Loire and Muscadet wines can be excellent wines.
Likewise with this Canary Islands Listan.