Esencia Rural, hailing from Quero in the Castilla-La Mancha winemaking region of central Spain, have always produced some of the wilder expressions we have tried, and this mysterious way with local grape Airén is no exception. Straight up, we would describe this as being suited to those who seek to explore the outer-limits of orange wine - it will certainly not be to everyone's taste! Here the grapes see a long, two-month maceration on the skins to extract lots of deep amber colours and chewy tannins. The wine is then matured in clay pots before bottling, at some point exposed to the air to form a flor over the liquid, imparting an intensely savoury character.
A whole host of exciting, unusual flavours and aromas abound - oily tangerine citrus, an oxidative, sherry-like note of salty almond and a herbacious lift of aromatic wild mint. A truly adventurous bottle, and at a great price to experiment with. Try it with a plate of jamón ibérico and some manzanilla olives to get it at its best.