First Place: La Caña Albariño 2015 (Rías Baixas). Tasters found pleasing and complex scents of lemongrass, peppermint, eucalyptus, mint, lemon verbena, flowers, and citrus rinds. Ali loved the nose, calling it an "herbal fantasy". This wowed us on the palate, with well-crafted flavors of pear, mango, lily, thyme, and tangerine. Pretty and delicious. Everyone's favorite of the night, except for Matt. Received 34 points. Matt's bottle. About $16.
Second Place: Protos Verdejo 2016 (Rueda). Green guava, mangosteen juice, fruit salad, pineapple, papaya, passionfruit, and tomato juice on the nose. Andy felt that this was like "Hawaiian punch for Spanish". Kristin found an aloe vera quality. Tastes like it smells, but with more citrus notes. Kristin was reminded of southern Spain, while Diana noted that this is "what a wine cooler should aspire to." Plenty of acidity. Fresh. Matt's favorite of the night, with 24 total points. Andy's bottle. A steal at only $10.
Third Place: Boedgas Naia Las Brisas 2015 (Rueda). Some skunky, wet wool scents that were a bit hard to get past, plus some notions of raisins and peaches. Matt asked, "Is this what it's supposed to smell like, or has something gone wrong?" Had a salty/saline quality that Diana described as "rotting seaweed". The palate was totally different, however, with a pleasant texture, smooth feel, and well-balanced fruit and acidity. David felt that it "glides across the palate", with Andy describing it as "kind of like flat Champagne". Long finish of crushed rocks and peaches. Sophisticated, and well-crafted. 18 points. David's bottle. About $12.
CVNE Rioja White Monopole 2015. Notions of dirty sponge, crab apples, ripe blueberries, and dairy on the nose. Andy described "dirty fish water", while Diana found a "plastic diaper smell". Tasted a lot better than it smelled, with flavors of ripe pears, stone fruit, and pomegranate. Pretty, tart finish, with a saline and white pepper note. Better with food, with the funky aromas being less off-putting. 6 points. Diana's bottle. About $12.
Terra do Castelo Godello 2013 (Ribeiro). Smelled green, with nectarine, banana peel, stone fruit, celery, and asparagus qualities. A little bit of cheese-like funk. Tart, austere palate, with some minerality on the finish. With air, some lemon zest and persimmon notes emerge. Very dry, and not generous. Rocky. Ali described it as, "like I licked a stone driveway." and that it was "stealing of the saliva". One point. Ali's bottle. About $18.
Arzabro Luzia de Ripa Txakoli 2015 (Arabako Txakolina-Txakoli de Alava). Reminiscent of applesauce, fresh sheets, band aid, straw, hay, dust, Bazooka bubble gum, and pink grapefruit. Had a slightly barnyard quality. Tart, with flavors of limes, Sweet-Tarts, gasoline, and motor oil. Andy noted that it "tastes a little bit like a Band Aid" and "expired Pez." Kind of like cheap Country Time lemonade with an artificial sweetener. One point. Kristin's bottle. About $18.