La Mancha
The La Mancha DO, near the city of Toledo in central Spain, is one of the world's largest wine districts, with a total of more than 400,000 acres of vineyards. Whites and reds are produced here, with varying quality and style, from simple whites to more distinguished reds. Many producers, instead of making table wine, produce brandy from the ubiquitous Airen variety, which has become somewhat of a symbol for this zone. Quality white wines do exist, however, made form varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Torrontes and Chardonnay. As this is a warm region, these wines are quite rich, though sometimes lack in finesse. Leading reds include Tempranillo, Monastrell, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Petit Verdot; again due to the very warm growing season, these reds are generally forward and meant for young consumption. The most promising reds have been those produced from Tempranillo; the riserva versions offer excellent complexity with round tannins and a lengthy finish; similar in style to a Riserva Rioja, some have achieved a similar quality level. Overall, this is a region with mixed quality; look for moderate prices and rich, ripe fruit in most of the wines. (Wine/Appellations)