The Giaconda-like smile on this bottle belongs to one of the winemakers at bodegas Matsu. The wine that it adorns is a wonderful, textured, complex and delicious white from northern Spain, predominantly made from Malvasia grapes that come from vines that are over a hundred years old.
Flavours of orchard fruits, white peach and honeysuckle are feted by oak and toast nuances that sit on top of a medium-full palate. The wine is seriously good and we are very glad that the first Matsu white has been executed at this quality level, not to mention that it is seriously approachable to boot.
Drinking this on its own may be a touch extravagant, though enjoyable, but with food it really comes alive and rewards all sorts of food pairings from grilled prawns to fine cheeses, poultry to Christmas dinner. This really is a treat, along the lines of very fine Burgundy.
The wines of Bodegas Matsu are instantly recognisable to all thanks to their striking images of winemakers on their wine labels - one of the best success marketing stories that the wine industry has seen for the last decade or more. In addition to the trio of existing red wines (El Picaro, El Recio y El Viejo), the Allotment now have the welcome addition of "La Jefa" ("Boss Lady", to you and me).
White wine from Toro (the region where Matsu are based) has been on the decline with 95% of vineyards now dedicated to planting red grape varieties. Because of this, it is all the more admirable that Matsu have forged ahead and unearthed the forgotten white vines of Toro, resulting in an intense white wine that is La Jefa. Sandy soils and a high level of granitic rocks are the characteristics of the vineyards that the Matsu owners have collected and, like the Malvasia vines, are able to age and mature like, well... er, fine old wines.
Picked by hand, these Malvasia grapes are aged for 14 months in new, lightly toasted French oak barrels.
This is a rich and complex wine; wonderfully layered with its notes of vanilla and ripe stone fruits, the palate is creamy in texture, complemented with notes of aniseed and spice that are a reflection of the aging in casks. It is a mouth-filling, silky wine, that retains the balancing acidity from the old Malvasia vines.
Style: Vegan Friendly, Sustainable, Smooth, Silky, Round, Rich, Medium Bodied, Fresh, Elegant, Creamy, Biodynamic, Balanced
Best food matches: Veal, Tapas, Shellfish, Seafood, Scallops, Salads, Poultry