Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Grape Varieties: Garnacha or Grenache?

Historically France, Italy and Spain have claimed for themselves to be the country of origin for Garnacha Tinta/ Grenache Noir/ Cannonau. However, all historical evidence proves it is indeed a Spanish grape variety originally from Aragón. This is so, because in Spain is where we can find the greatest diversity of this vine, including all three colors of the Garnacha varieties (black, grey and white) as well as Garnacha mutations such as the Garnacha Peluda.  

This post is dedicated to Garnacha Tinta that produces a variety of very interesting wines, from fruity, easy to drink reds (Côtes du  Rhône Villages, Cariñena, Campo de Borja), to dry, fleshy rosé (Provence, Navarra, Tavel), to big bodied reds (Rasteau, Gigondas, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Priorat) and sweet dessert wines like the Vin Doux Naturel or VDN (Banyuls, Maury,
Rivesaltes and Rasteau).

Garnacha/Grenache is a very Mediterranean grape, it was exported from Spain to the South of France (Languedoc Roussillon, and the Southern Rhône), to Sardinia, Italy but, it also can be found in other countries along the Mediterranean such as Greece, Israel, Cyprus and North Africa. This is due in part to its love for warm, hot weather, Garnacha/Grenache needs plenty of sunshine to mature and won’t do well in moderate climates. 

It is early budding but late ripening, it has plenty of sugar, which means it can yield high alcohol levels very easily on its own, (16% is the norm). It’s a very vigorous vine, usually pruned in a short bush (globelet), closer to the ground, to easily receive the heat from the soils and withstand strong winds like the fierce Mistral in the Southern Rhône.  It’s a vigorous vine, and does better at low yields, no more than 35 hl/ht, though top producers such as the famous Chateau Rayas will only have yields of 15 hl/ht tops and others in Priorat will have vines with yields at 5 hl/ht.  It can suffer from coulure (uneven flowering) and from downy mildew and bunch rot due to its tight bunches and thin skins. It does best when stressed, and can tolerate drought, better than any other variety, though in some places irrigation is allowed. Hot, well drained soils are best for Garnacha/Grenache, such as the galets (huge round stones) of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, or the llicorella (slate) or schist of Priorat, but also soils with high limestone content will be excellent to provide acidity that this variety very much needs. 

It yields a very sexy wine with a pale red color (a usual give away when tasting blind) and red fruit notes of strawberry, red plum, red cherries, fresh or stewed. It can showcase spices such as garrigue herbs,oregano, tobacco and white pepper. Most Garnacha/Grenache based wines will have low to moderate acidity, and very soft tannins. When yields are high such as in the basic appellations of Côtes du Rhône, the wines tend to be approachable sooner. Low yields give wines with a lot of concentration and extract, heavy and dense, these can easily age for at least 20 years. Low yields usually happen from meticulous pruning but also from very old vines, some of which can be over 100 years old and ungrafted. (like those in Priorat & Barossa Valley).
The alcohol level in these wines is always high, and it can be a challenge for the producer to keep it balanced with the rest of the elements, most Garnacha/Grenache wines tend to have big bodies, even in the case of rosé. Garnacha/Grenache is prone to oxidation, and this is why it is usually blended with other grapes in most appellations; historically, it has been used as a filler that provides body and alcohol. GSM wines are the typical blend of Mourvèdre (Monastrell) Garnacha/Grenache and Syrah popular in France, California and Australia. 

At the winery and to make red wines, Garnacha is macerated with skins to extract color and some carbonic maceration (whole berry fermentation), which is used to preserve its fruit. Stainless steel, concrete or old oak vessels are preferred, and no excessive new oak, which can strip the wine of its delicious fruitiness. A slow and long fermentation, with minimal racking is recommended to avoid oxidation.

In the case of rosés, the focus is to keep the fruit and the freshness as much as possible, to do that, producers will pick earlier to keep some of the acidity, and do direct pressing, very quickly getting a pale salmon color wine like the wines of Provence. In Navarra, Spain, there is a short maceration with skins which will provide a deeper pink color. Stainless steel fermentation at low temperatures is the norm. 

In the case of the VDN (Vin Doux Naturels), these are fortified sweet wines, meaning that alcohol has been added to them, raising their levels to 16-18%. The addition of neutral grape spirit is done like in Port, during fermentation and to halt it. The addition of the spirit will kill the yeasts before they have a chance to eat all the sugars in the must, which will result in a sweet fortified wine. Some of the VDN are made in a youthful style, that will feature black fruit notes of blackberries, cherries, raisins. Others are exposed to oxygen, like Oloroso sherries or Madeiras, many of them are aged in demijohns (glass, large containers) that are exposed to the sun and heat. These wines will acquire a rancio character and feature caramel, nuts, coffee and chocolate notes. 

Best places to grow Grenache are in the Southern Rhône,  like Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages that provide entry level, every night, uncomplicated reds. Things will get more interesting in classic appellations such as Ventoux, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Rasteau and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Tavel is known for its wonderful and refreshing rosés, blended with Cinsault. Reds are usually blends of Grenache with Syrah and Mourvèdre. There’s plenty of Grenache in appellations in the Languedoc Roussillon and Provence (rosés). In Spain, we find the beefest Garnacha reds in Priorat, where it can be blended with Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Navarra makes wonderful rosé wines (sometimes blended with Tempranillo) Campo de Borja, Calatayud, Cariñena and Penedès produce beautiful reds made of Garnacha, sometimes blended with Carignan.  Australia’s Barossa Valley and Mc Laren Vale produce good samples from very old vines usually between 100 to 150 years old.  California’s Paso Robles and South Africa have shown a lot of promise too. 
In general, Garnacha/Grenache is best consumed when young, except in the case of big bodied reds that can age up to 20 years, VDN can age for much longer for 30 to 40 years. 

Top Producers: 
Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Château Rayas,  Clos des Papes, La Nerthe, Vieux Télégraphe, Château de Beaucastel, Domaine St Préfert, Domaine Giraud, Paul Autard, Famille Perrin. etc. 
Priorat: Alvaro Palacios, Mas Martinet, Clos Mogador, Costers del Siurana, Clos Erasmus.
Provence Rosé: Chateau D'Esclans, Miraval, Hecht and Bannier, Champs de Provence, Mirabeau, Domaine Ott. 
Navarra Rosé: Nekeas, Castillo de Monjardin, Gran Feudo (Julian Chivite), Senorio de Sarria.
California Rhone Rangers: Alban, Bonny Doon, Tablas Creek, Epoch.
Australia: D’Arenberg, Penfolds, Yalumba, Hardys.

New releases I tasted lately, all under $25: Garnacha/ Grenache at this price point, offers everything to please the crowds: fat bodied reds, high but very well integrated alcohol, super soft tannins and plenty of fruit, minerality and spice! Try any of them, you won't be disappointed!

Las Moradas de San Martin Senda 2016, $13.99 (DO Vinos de Madrid)
Made from 100% Garnacha from 40 to 85 years old vines. This wine is organic, and bottled without filtration. Aged for 10 months in French oak.
Fleshy red with light tannins offers black fruits (plum and blackberries) blended with spice (cinnamon and cloves) notes from oak.

Marqués de Cáceres Garnacha 2018, $18.99 (DO Cariñena)
100% Garnacha red from vines averaging 30 to 40 years old. Macerated with skins for 15 days followed by alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in stainless steel and aged in bottle for 6 months.
Smooth, yet dense red, full of red fruit aromas featuring fresh raspberry and strawberry, and a beautiful juicy finish.

Famille Perrin Nature Rouge 2018, $14.99 (AOC Côtes du Rhône)
A blend of Grenache with Syrah, made from certified organic vineyards. Fermented in stainless steel, followed by aging in vats for a year.
Mellow, every night red, offers black currant, garrigue, black olives and white pepper notes, laced in a supple finish.

Famille Perrin Les Cornuds 2017, $19.99 (AOC Vinsobres)
The typical blend of Grenache and Syrah. The Grenache is fermented in stainless steel while the Syrah is fermented in wooded tanks, the Syrah is also partially aged in oak from one year.
Tantalizing red, featuring blackberry, cherry and black pepper notes.

Domaine La Font de Notre Dame La Source 2018, $23.99 (AOC Rasteau)
A super blend of mostly Grenache (80%), Mourvedre (10%) Syrah (5%) and Cinsault (5%).  The average age of the vines at the domaine is 80 years old. 25 % of the wine is aged in second use French oak. 
Unctuous red featuring ripe black fruits (black cherries and plums), licorice and graphite notes.

Domaine Guintrandy Visan 2017, $18.99 (AOC Cotes Du Rhone Villages)
A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah from 30 year old vines that are certified organic. This wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Mineral laden (chalky) red offers blueberry, ripe plum and licorice notes and a refined finish.

Castell D' Age 0%S02 Added, 100% Garnatxa 2018, $23.99 (DO Penedès)
100 % Garnacha from biodynamic vineyards. The wine was made without sulfur and it says so on the label. Fermentation takes place with indigenous yeasts. No filtration or clarification, this is a red "au naturel".
Super sensuous red, featuring raspberry marmalade and black cherry notes.

Happy Garnacha/ Grenache day! which this year falls this Friday 9/18/20. Cheers! Silvina.

#Thoughtsoflawina #Garnacha #Grenache #WineWednesday

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Thanks to Cynthia Hurley French Wines, Vineyard Brands & Las Moradas de San Martin for this beautiful selection of wines.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Bye Bye Summer 2020!

I must admit, this was no ordinary Summer! Though, things are getting a bit better in NJ,  we have fewer cases Covid 19 everyday and a low infection rate, still things are far from normal and so different from preCovid times.

It was also the first summer in years I spent working, maybe I should toast to that, that I was able to work and to learn! Part of the summer, I spent attending many wine webinars, brushing up and looking for topics to write in my blog, and though, I didn’t have a proper vacation like every year,  that didn’t stop me from enjoying other things, like walks in the park, outdoors lunch and dinners with friends (always respecting social distancing), series binge watching (right now I’m exploring non Netflix venues, like Britbox, Hulu and Amazon Prime), and let’s not forget the streaming of concerts and plays (specially from Argentina). 

With a few days left before the end of the summer and before autumn comes lurking in, I decided to wave this summer goodbye with a picnic at the park enjoying a delicious bottle of sparkling white from boutique winery Sosie Wines.

Sosie’s owner and winemaker Scott MacFiggen and his wife Regina make a line that includes still (red, white and rosé) and sparkling wines made from Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Rhone varieties: Roussanne and Syrah. 
All of their vineyards are located in the very heart of California’s wine country, spread nearby Sonoma and Napa Valley. They are either certified organic or organic farmed, meaning grown without pesticides or chemicals, always protecting the health of the soils, the purity of the air and water, and the preservation of the local ecosystems.

Sosie Sparkling white 2018 is made from 100% Roussanne grapes sourced from their Vivio Vineyards, in Sonoma county.  I admit I  was looking forward to tasting this sample, since this is a first for me, most of the new world sparkling wines I tasted in the past were always either from Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. The base wine was completely fermented with native yeasts, followed by malolactic fermentation in neutral oak casks. The bubbles were created using the traditional method (or Champenoise) with second fermentation in the bottle and aging on its lees for 14 months before degorge. No dosage was added, yielding a “Brut nature”, dry style.
This big body bubbly is full of ripe pear, herbal verbena and honey notes, interlaced with yeasty and almond flavors. Ending clean and polished.
Only 45 cases of this wine were produced.  The suggested retail price is $30, and best of all, you can buy this directly from the winery via this link.
Happy Labor Day! Bye bye Summer! Can’t wait to say bye bye to Covid 19 too, Cheers! Silvina.

#thoughtsoflawina #WineWednesday #Sosiewines #Roussannesparkling

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Salads and Wines!

I have a confession to make, I have gained 5 pounds since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, maybe it was way too much chocolate, way too much ice cream, way too many cannolis from my favorite bakery that stayed open during the pandemic, or being at home all day.  
When I work,  I walk more, not only in my building but to commute back and forth and to run errands… And even though I have kept my morning walks like clockwork, it’s not the same… Oh well I guess it’s time to change my eating habits, before my pants get too tight! and what better way to do this than by eating more of my favorite salads. 
Guess what? I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes with you. Since, I have a sweet tooth, one thing I like to do is to add fruit to my salad… don’t look at me as I am from another world… this is just a great way to eat fruit too, especially if you are like me...I don’t eat enough fruit servings… I would go for the candy bar instead of an apple any day😀😄

For My Everything Salad (this is my lunch most of the days), you will need:
A box of Spring mixed Lettuce
Grape tomatoes 
Chickpeas from a can, to add extra protein and crunch
1 red delicious Apple cut in pieces, if there’s no apple you can substitute for fresh pineapple, or strawberries in the last case I don’t put tomatoes)
Green olives or pickled cucumbers
Roasted chicken breast cut in cubes
Salt, Pepper, EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar
I keep my dressing very simple, I don’t use commercial dressings, I don’t need all that creamy stuff/junk any way, all I use is extra virgin olive oil, lemon (if your protein is fish) or balsamic vinegar (for chicken or turkey), salt and black pepper.
I usually dress up the salad first, heat up the chicken for like 2 minutes in the microwave, so that it’s not cold but warm and add it in the end. If you don’t have chicken in the house,you can use turkey (cold cuts). 
The best match for this beautiful salad is a Sauvignon Blanc from Yllera Sauvignon Blanc 2019 $15 or Boada Verdejo 2019 $10 (both from Rueda, Spain). What did you think that I was going to stop drinking wine, to lose weight? I think I’d rather fast every other day (i.e. intermittent fasting). 

My second favorite salad is Baby Spinach and Sweet Pumpkin, and it has only 3 ingredients:
Baby Spinach or Arugula (if you are like me and like some bitterness on your greens, arugula can also work).
Roasted Kabocha Pumpkin or Roasted Korean Sweet Potatoes
2 Hard cooked eggs
Salt, Pepper, EVOO, Balsamic Vinegar
I cut the Kabocha pumpkin in cubes and I roast it in the oven with salt, pepper a bit of fresh dill and extra virgin olive oil). If you are using the Korean sweet potatoes, I cooked them wrapped in aluminum foil as you would any baked potato, once they are done you can wait until they cool down to cut them in cubes.
For protein, you can do chicken here too, but I’d prefer hard cooked eggs, cut in fine slices. Once again the dressing is the same, extra virgin olive oil, with balsamic vinegar, salt and black pepper. My secret here is that I serve the squash or sweet potatoes warm, so I put them in the microwave for 1 minute before finishing the salad. 
The best match for this salad will be a Gewurztraminer, like the Elena Walsh AA Gewurztraminer V Kastelaz 2018. $30 (Alto Adige, Italy) or Domaine Fernand Engel Gewurztraminer Reserve 2018 $15 (Alsace, France).

Argentinean Waldorf Salad
5 Beets (boiled and cut in cubes)
2 Green Apples 
Walnuts (a bunch chopped)
Salt, Pepper, Light mayonnaise
This salad is one of the few I eat with mayonnaise, it’s my mother’s version of Waldorf. Most Waldorf’s recipes use celery instead of beets, but in my family we like it like this! It was a staple in all our holiday celebrations, especially for New Year’s eve, when it’s summer in Argentina.
I would match this with a rosé like Erath Winery Pinot Noir Rose 2018 $15 (Oregon, US) or Piedra Negra Rosado 2019 $12 (made from Pinot Gris, in Mendoza, Argentina)

I hope you will give my salads a try! until the next one, cheers! Silvina. 

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#thoughtsoflawina #WineWednesday #wineandsalads #summerwines #erathrose #piedranegrarose #Elenawalsh #DomaineFernandengel #Yllerasauvignonblanc #Boadaverdejo.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Spanish White Grapes: Albariño

On August 1-7, we celebrate Albariño week! Albariño is one of the most popular white grapes from Spain, though it is not the most planted, that honor belongs to Airén, which is by the way, the most planted variety in the world. 
Albariño is a wonderful summer white, and a great value too! with prices 
usually starting at $13 and up.
Most Albariño is produced in the Rías Baixas appellation, marked with a black circle, on the map below, located in NW Spain, facing the Atlantic ocean.

Map courtesy of Wines from Spain/ICEX.

Now, if you see Albariño on the label of your wine, by law this wine must be 100% made from this grape. As you can imagine, there are other white grapes planted in Rías Baixas too! such as Torrontés, Treixadura, Caiño, Godello, these are also allowed in the Rías Baixas blend sold as blanco (white), but only in tiny percentages. If any of these grape names are familiar to you, is probably because some of them are grown in Portugal where they are part of the Vinho Verde blend.
There are different theories about the origin of Albariño, most say, it is original from Spain from the subzone of Val do Salnés, closest to the Atlantic, others that came from Germany with the Cistercian Monks or that Albariño is from northern Portugal, know there as Alvarinho.

All pictures, courtesy of DO Rías Baixas

From a viticultural point of view, Albariño is a very low yielding variety, it grows mostly on sandy, coarse soils, called xabres; some of which contain a bit of limestone, granite and clay. The Rías Baixas appellation is also known as “Green Spain”, this is due to the abundant rain that the area receives every year (about 1600 mm). It is indeed really humid here, and very much influenced by the Atlantic ocean (with a maritime climate similar to Bordeaux). 

All pictures, courtesy of DO Rías Baixas
To prevent fungal diseases most of the vines are trained in Pergolas/ Parrales (high wires) so that air can easily circulate and are planted facing SW to aid ripening.
Albariño yields a very aromatic wine, usually featuring white peach, apricots, pineapple, citrus (grapefruit, lime) and mineral notes. It will showcase solid acidity, a medium body and balanced alcohol, usually at 12,5 %. It is vinified in stainless steel to preserve the Albariño refreshing character. These whites are not usually aged in oak, but aging on lees is very common, which will add more body and complexity to the wines. Albariños are made to be drunk young, no more than 3 years from vintage. 
Best food matches for Albariño are all types of seafood, including octopus (pulpo gallego, a typical dish in Galicia), but also shellfish: shrimp, oysters, mussels,scallops, lobster. And all types of light white fish fillets such as cod, hake, filet of sole, flounder, etc.

The D.O. Rías Baixas has different subzones, yielding different wine profiles; for example, in the Val do Salnés Valley, where most of the wineries are based, is cooler, so the wines tend to be more green, crispier and mineral (with citrus: grapefruit, lime and green apple notes). While in Condado do Tea, located inland and south, where is warmer, wines are bigger and yield tropical notes (nectarine, pineapple and mango). In O Rosal, wines tend to be a happy medium of these two, featuring white peach and apricot notes. 
Depending on the subzone some wines will be 100 % Albariño like in Val do Salnés  and Soutomaior, while in Condado do Tea and O Rosal, is easier to find also blanco (white) blends of 70% Albariño with the other allowed white varieties.

Recommended Producers:
Though, there are plantings of Albariño in Australia, California and Oregon. No samples have impressed me so far, so my advice is to stick to Spanish producers from Rías Baixas. Here are some of my all time favorites:
Fillaboa, Palacio de Fefinañes, Santiago Ruiz, Terras Gauda, Viña Nora, Pazo de Barrantes, Granbazán, Mar de Frades,Fillaboa, Pazo de Señorans, Condes de Albarei, Martin Codáx, Paco & Lola, Marqués de Cáceres.

Below, some Albariños that I tasted lately and liked, I indicated the subzones where these come from, so that you are aware of the different styles.

Leirana Albariño 2018, $15.99 (Val do Salnés)
Vibrant Albariño features lemon zest and mineral notes. Vinified with indigenous yeasts and no malolatic fermentation. 

Paco & Lola Albariño 2019 $17.99 (Val do Salnés)
Completely vinified in stainless steel, followed by a brief aging on lees. This energetic Albariño showcases red apple and nectarine notes and a very focused finish.

O Fillo da Condesa Albariño 2018, $14.99 (Val do Salnés)
Partially fermented in oak, the rest in stainless steel, with 4 months of aging in lees. This impressive Albariño exudes lime zest and green apple notes, framed by juicy and refreshing acidity.

Altos de Torona 2019, $18.99 (O Rosal)
Juicy Albariño vinified in stainless steel and 6 months of aging on lees. It offers delicious white peach and pineapple fruit flavors with a fleshy finish.

Marqués de Cáceres Deusa Nai Albariño 2018 $18.99 (O Rosal)
Aromatic Albariño, vinified in stainless steel with 5 months of aging on lees. Shows grapefruit and white peach notes and a crispy finish.

Eidosela 2018, $13 (Condado do Tea)
Fresh Albariño showing yellow peach and orange blossom notes, with a round mineral finish. Fully vinified in stainless steel.

Viña Nora Albariño 2018 $17.99 (Condado do Tea)
This wine underwent maceration pelliculaire to extract more aromas and flavors for 6 hours, followed by fermentation in stainless steel and aging on lees for 4 months. This elegant Albariño features white peach and honeysuckle notes and a kiss of minerality.

Happy Albariño Week! Silvina

#Albariño  #Riasbaixas #spanishwines #spanishwhitegrapes #galicia #thoughtsoflawina #Spain #WineWednesday #Albariñoweek

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Verdejo: The Variety of D.O. Rueda

Are you familiar with Verdejo?
If you are like most American wine drinkers, you probably are not. So, allow me to invite you to open up your palate and think outside the box for a change, as we discover a delicious, vivacious white that everybody should be drinking. Verdejo is by far my favorite Spanish white grape variety, and the most important variety of D.O. Rueda, a Spanish appellation dedicated mostly to making white wine. 
To situate ourselves, the Rueda appellation is located in Castilla León, to the south of the city of Valladolid and the Duero River. 

map courtesy of D.O. Rueda

Verdejo (named from verde, which means green in Spanish) is an early to mid budding and ripening variety, very resistant to drought. Besides growing indigenous Verdejo, we can find other white varieties in Rueda such as: Palomino Fino, the Sherry grape, which was important once upon time, Viura, the most important white variety in Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc and thanks to a recent change in regulations: Viognier and Chardonnay. By law, any Rueda white must have at least 50% Verdejo or Sauvignon Blanc in the blend and the rest could be any of these other grapes, in most cases, Viura. However, if the word Verdejo appears on the label, the wine must be 85% from this variety.

Beautiful Verdejo Grapes.
Picture courtesy of RiberaRueda campaign

What makes the Rueda appellation so special? 
For starters there's a long winemaking tradition in this area, they have been producing wines since the 11th century, however an important revival took place in the 1970s, when a very well known producer from Rioja (Marqués de Riscal), advised by Emile Peynaud saw potential in the area to make wines from Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc. 
The climate in Rueda is continental, which means extreme, hot short summers and very cold winters, with low rainfall falling mostly in Spring and Autumn (400 ml per year). These dry weather conditions during the growing season, make this spot an ideal place to practice organic farming, with many producers certified as such.  Altitude of the terrain, makes a big difference here, with most vineyards located between 500- 800 metres, the cooler night temperatures will allow the vines to rest and to keep acidity levels. 
Verdejo grapes grow on two types of soils, some are stony and pebbly with good drainage (like those in the area of La Seca) and others are sandy with limestone (like those in Segovia). This appellation hosts some of the oldest vineyards in Spain with vines averaging 30-130 years old, most of them ungrafted, having survived the deadly phylloxera louse.

Verdejo vines planted on stony soils.
picture courtesy of Ribera Rueda campaign.

Most Rueda wine is made in stainless steel, at low temperatures to preserve the fine aromatics of this grape. Some producers have dared to experiment with barrel fermentation and aging in oak, as well as some aging in lees which will add creaminess, with successful results. There’s also a small production of  Verdejo Traditional method sparkling wines as well, and fortified Verdejo wines called Rueda Dorado and Pálido (similar to Sherry and aged for a few years in oak). New regulations in Rueda, created a new designation for wines that come from older vines, 30+ years old, now defined as Gran Vino de Rueda (Great Wine from Rueda).

Verdejo’s tasting profile will feature an aromatic wine with notes of green herbs, grass, fennel, lime, grapefruit and passion fruit; with aging they acquire bitter almond notes. Old vines will yield very concentrated wines, with medium plus to high acidity, medium to medium plus bodies and medium plus alcohol (some can easily have 14%). Rueda wines are better drunk young, but thanks to their acidity can age up to 8 years.
Match your Verdejo/Rueda wines with salads, as well as seafood, especially delicate white fish such as Flounder, Mahi Mahi or Cod. I also love it with Sushi or Poke salad.

Recommended Producers: best Verdejo can only come from Spain, here are some the top producers:
Naia, J&F Lurton, Jose Pariente, Telmo Rodriguez, Carlos Moro, Cuatro Rayas, Marqués de Riscal,Marqués de Cáceres, Jorge Ordoñez.

Here some Verdejos I tasted lately that I liked:

Jorge Ordoñez Nisia Las Suertes Verdejo 2018 $29.99
Made from dry farmed, ungrafted old vines, and aged for a year on its lees. 
This smooth Verdejo offers pineapple and honeydew melon notes. Complex, focused and elegant.

Cuatro Rayas, Vendemia Nocturna 2019 $15
Fermented in stainless steel, this wine is made from grapes harvested at night to avoid oxidation. Very lively Verdejo featuring green herbs (fennel) and citrus (lemon zest and lime notes).

Shaya Verdejo 2017 $17.99
A Verdejo with a touch of oak, 20 to 30% is fermented in barrel. Smooth Verdejo offers tropical passion fruit and pineapple notes supported by a vibrant finish. Made from very old vines grown in sandy soils.

Bodegas Beronia Verdejo 2019 $16.99
Fermented in stainless steel with grapes featuring different grades of ripeness, one part was harvested early to preserve freshness and acidity and the second later to show riper fruit. This juicy Verdejo exudes red delicious apple and guava flavors framed by nervy acidity.

Marqués de Cáceres Verdejo 2019, $12.99
Bright Verdejo showing white peach, grapefruit and blanched almonds notes ending in a clean and crispy finish.

Cheers! Silvina

#verdejo #rueda #thoughtsoflawina #Spain #WineWednesday  #verdejowinelover #winesfromspain #drinkrueda