#newwinethisweek Week 41 – Verdejo, Rueda

Spain

After the success of Rioja last week, we’ll keep it Spanish for week 41 and balance the scales with an interesting white wine selection. I was first introduced to Verdejo around ten years ago when I went to my local wine merchant and asked him to expand my horizons. At the time my white wine choices were almost exclusively Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire and New Zealand, and New World Riesling. Jez (My Wine Hero) had no hesitation in picking out this Spanish white and I have been a fan ever since.

Verdejo’s home is the Rueda region, an inland area to the west of Ribero del Duero. Originally the grape was used to make oxidised wines in the sherry mould until the 1970s when a few winemakers began making a fresher style, earning Rueda a sound reputation, which was recognised as a Denominación de Origen (DO) in 1980. Verdejo is considered by many to be one of Spain’s standout wine grapes, along with Albarino and Godello (Godello’s time is coming!)

Verdejo

One of the more interesting facts about Verdejo is that the grapes are often harvested at night due to the high daytime temperatures in Rueda, producing aromatic, crisp and often full-bodied wines.

This is a white wine that you Sauvignon fans are going to love… and it’s going to give you something else to order the next time you head out for a good dose of tapas! Now go and buy a bottle and see whether it finds a place in your repertoire, like it is certainly has on mine.

Los Molinos Verdeco 2013, Valdepeñas (Tesco £5.99)

Waitrose Rueda Verdejo 2013, Rueda (Waitrose £6.39 was £7.99)

Nekora Rueda Verdejo 2012, Rueda (M&S £9.99)

Protos Verdejo 2013, Rueda (Wine & the Vine £10.55)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on October 13, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I didn’t actually try a verdejo until I was outside of Spain, funnily enough; everyone I came across, particularly my Spanish host mom, were slaves to the reds and never touched whites. If they wanted something lighter, they went for sidra.

    • That is quite incredible given the high quality if white wines available in Spain. Godello I think will be the next gig thing in the UK, it seems to offer just a tad more than Albarino… I just hope we start importing a bit more Txacoli too!

  2. Reblogged this on Please Bring Me My Wine and commented:
    Looking forward to this one Ant

  3. Although we stay in sunny Spain again this week, it’s a wine in total contract to last week’s Rioja, in the sense that I reckon me and many others know a fair bit about Rioja but not a lot about Verdejo. But then if we knew about it, it would defeat the purpose of this fine little weekly project of vinous discovery.

    From everything the lads have imparted along with a scan of Wikipedia, the expectation for Verdejo is an intriguing if not altogether desirable one. Oxidised character, sherried flavours but with a Sauvignon edge??!! No wonder they pick the stuff at night…

    I bought the only bottle I could find in Sainsbury’s which was a 2012 El Pozo Bueno Rueda Verdejo for a refreshingly low price of a fiver down from £6; points scored in advance there.

    I tend to go through fads and fazes with my wine shops similarly to the way my 6 yr. old daughter goes through favourite Disney Princesses. I’m thoroughly on a Sainsbury’s tip at the moment following a few Eureka bottles discovered recently, so I’ve stockpiled a load of Taste the Difference’s to guzzle my way through over the next few weeks. I seem to remember Mr Geek writing a review of the range a while ago so I’ll maybe check that our as a point of reference!

    So, the nose is quite buttery and rich, very Chardonnay-esque, but also with the tropical scents of a Sav Blanc, all very promising. That’s where the similarities end though, as it tastes pretty much as expected from the research; very oxidised, almost Manzanilla like in character, sharp on the tongue and not altogether pleasant on the finish. I conclude that this is the kind of wine that ‘needs food’, so I scoff down some Goliath strength Vacherin cheese with it which does actually help the experience somewhat by matching this ‘unique’ wine with an equally tangy cheese. The Garners pickled onions were a step too far but I’m clinically addicted to them so who cares!

    Definitely more of a Princess Merida type wine than an Aurora (Apologies-Disney references learnt through unintentional Osmosis) 5/10, including a point for value!

    • Shame John – the fresh style is so approachable and darn right drinkable. I grabbed an £8 bottle from M&S and it was so much better than any SB I’ve tried at that price. I’ll post the full review over the weekend… But defo more than a 5!

  4. I know mate, gutted-but can’t win em all I suppose!

    I’ll maybe give it a reprieve next time I’m in M&S and try yours out

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