Category:Wine reviews

Wine of the week: Protocolo Blanco 2019

Protocolo Blanco
Protocolo Blanco 2019/$6-$15

This Spanish white blend is cheap wine the way it should be – professionally made, varietally correct, and enjoyable

The Wine Curmudgeon is not the only one bemoaning the disappearance of quality and affordable wine. Emailed a fellow critic: “It wasn’t that long ago that I lamented the disappearance of the $10 bottle, which was replaced by $12 bottles. Based on recent anecdotal evidence, the $12 bottle is now gone, too. Outside of grocery stores where all the wine taste the same, it seems $15 is now the ground floor at independent wine shops.”

To which I answer: the Eguren Protocolo Blanco 2019 ($8, purchased, 12%).

This is the kind of wine that my friend used to see all the time – professionally made, without flaws, more or less varietal, and enjoyable. Which, sadly, has disappeared in favor of the dreaded focus group wine: Smoooth, almost sweet, and bereft of almost all character. In fact, the back label for the Protocolo even leans in that direction: “silky… banana, peach, and apple aromas.”

But it’s nothing like that. For one thing, it’s a Spanish white blend, and that ain’t silky. The grapes – 60 percent viura and 40 percent airen – lend themselves to the exact opposite, which means some tart lemon and green apple fruit. The wine is clean and fresh, with maybe some minerality in the back. Or not, as the case may be.

The point here is that the Protocolo does what it’s supposed to do – offer value and quality for wine with dinner or a glass after work. And, as my friend noted, that’s not easy to find these days.

Imported by Fine Estates from Spain