#newwinethisweek Week 41 – Verdejo, Rueda
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!)
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.