Pablo Matallana Taro Vinícola Blanco

Pablo Matallana Taro Vinícola Blanco

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Press 2 • June 2024 Direct Press Selection

Pablo Matallana is a young, forward-thinking winemaker based on the Canary island of Tenerife. Through organic viticulture and thoughtful winemaking, Pablo seeks to showcase different grape varieties and the unique terroir of the Canaries. Pablo studied enology at the highly respected Polytechnic University of Valencia, and after graduation he worked in both Chile and Priorat before returning to Tenerife to pursue his own project. He made his first wine in 2015 from a recuperated old vineyard in Tenerife. In 2018, he bottled his first wines from neighboring Lanzarote under the name Vinícola Taro. Taro is named for the small stone structures within vineyards where growers take shade and shelter.

Lanzarote has a markedly different landscape than Tenerife, since it is the closest to Africa of the seven island chain and dramatically more arid. The highest elevation point is only 670 meters, dotted with smaller volcanoes instead of one very tall peak, as is the case for Tenerife and Gran Canaria. The majority of vineyards Pablo is working with are in the central part of Lanzarote, near Timanfaya National Park. The island sees only 18 days of rain per year on average, with a total of about 6 inches, making grape cultivation very difficult. Coupled with the intensely hot and dry trade winds known as the Calimas, vines are typically planted in hoyos (walled holes) or zanjas (trenches) dug in the ground for protection. Due to a period of major volcanic activity in the 1700s, vines must grow through one meter of volcanic ash (locally known as picón) to reach water in the underlying clay. 

Taro Vinícola Blanco is made from Malvasía Volcánica, Listán Blanco and Diego from three different pagos: Chibusque, Frías and La Vegueta. The grapes were hand-harvested on the same day and fermented together, but with different treatments: the fruit from Chibusque was destemmed and pressed, while the fruit from Frías and La Vegueta was not destemmed and fermented with the skins. After fermentation, the wine rested on its lees for 8 months in stainless steel. The finished wine was bottled without fining or filtration.   Ben Fletcher/José Pastor

Tasting notes: Pablo's blanco has the telltale aromas of a wine from Tenerife: gun flint, lemon oil, and delicate florality. He's able to create amazing balance with the aromas echoed on the palate while achieving a complex herbal depth, a hint of spice that reminded me of sarsaparilla. This would be perfect with lighter seafood fare, shrimp tacos, crisp refreshing salads, and ceviche. Jeremy Hernandez

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