Here’s as fine a demonstration as you’ll get that there’s more to Málaga than sweet wine. Sierras de Málaga is the DO (denomination/appellation) for dry white Moscatel wine and this glorious example, from old, mountain vineyards, comes via Telmo Rodríguez, the pioneering producer who has brought Málaga’s forgotten vineyards and wines back to life (and those of other parts of Spain). It’s a wine of wonderful purity, succulence and intensity, with spicy, herby, floral and citrus aromas, flavours of preserved lemons and honeyed apricots and a crystal-cut, herby, salty, grapefruit finish – you feel you can taste the schist of the vineyards in that finish. It’s a wine you can drink on its own, but it’s versatile with food, taking on artichokes (as long as there’s a squeeze of lemon somewhere), spices such as cumin, cardamom, coriander, fennel and sumac, whether with lamb, pork, poultry or fish (I had it with spiced pink-roast leg of Welsh hill lamb), and it should be a winner with various Chinese dishes and styles, if you're celebrating Chinese New Year. It’s less comfortable with dairy, such as burrata, although hard cheese would probably be alright. It was also denatured by the bitterness of cavolo nero.
Compañía de Vinos de Telmo Rodríguez Mountain Blanco de Molino Real 2013, Sierras de Málaga, Spain