This monthÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Wine Blogging Wednesday is hosted by the first wine podcaster/blogger, Bill Wilson of Wine for Newbies. And since his theme is any white wine, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦But Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or RieslingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve selected a varietal native to SpainÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Rueda region, Verdejo. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m also going to be doing my blog post separate from my podcast on these wines because for the first time in many years I feel I have discovered something new and want to research this grape a bit more for the audio version. The first time I had this feeling was discovering GewÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¼rztraminer in the early 1980ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s; the second, Viognier in the mid-1990ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s. It seemed like the right thing to do to honor the host by producing the best podcast for this WBW, so stay tuned for this coming shortly.
So why Verdejo? The short answer is IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve covered most of the major white varietals that are left and the few that remain, like Semillon and GrÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¼ner Veltliner, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m saving for some upcoming shows. I again consulted my local wine merchant, Solo Vino, for some suggestions. Their recommendation was Verdejo from Spain and Australia, of all places, to get a sense from how the grape travels. Before I get into my tasting notes IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll cover a short background on the grape.
Verdejo is the signature white grape of the Rueda DO of Spain and one of the best white wines made in Spain. Often compared to Sauvignon Blanc, the characteristics are a bit less austere on the palete, but certainly similar on the nose. Long grown in this region, it had a renaissance of sorts in the 1980ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s with modern winemaking techniques producing clean, un-oaked wines in place of the barrel fermented and aged wines of earlier times. Many of these wines are blended with Sauvignon Blanc to round out the flavors.
Vina Sanzo, Verdejo, Rueda, Spain 2004 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Light straw/green in color with aggressive aromas of fresh hay, apricots and hazelnuts. An exotic mixture of gooseberry and apricot flavors finishing very crisp and dry. A Sauvignon Blanc on steroids. Score: 9/10
Garcia Arevalo, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œCasamaroÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?, Rueda, Spain 2005 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Light straw yellow in color with fine bubbles. Grassy apricot aromas with pear and peach on the palete finishing dry with a nice spritz from bottle fermentation. Very good. Score: 8.5/10
Woop Woop, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œV 2005ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â³, Verdelho (Verdejo), Southern Australia 2005 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ There seems to be some controversy that this wine is made from the grape responsible for Madeira and not the noble Verdejo of Rueda, but IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m going to give this bottling the benefit of the doubt because itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s so good.
Pale straw in color with pineapple and pear aromas. Peach and some grassiness, a bit like the bitterness of GewÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¼rztraminer, on the palete finishing dry with zingy acidity. Drink this one with some roast chicken or a salad on a hot summers day. Very good, but more like a blend of Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc than the other two wines tasted, so perhaps there is some credence to the Madeira connection. Score: 8.5/10
The best of tasting this month clearly goes to the Vina Sanzo, Verdejo 2004 with the best value to Woop Woop, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œV 2005ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â³. If you couldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t tell by my tasting notes, I was blown away by these wines and look forward to exploring them further on my podcast. Thanks to Bill for a great theme and IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll see you soon with a podcast version with more details and perhaps another wine tasting note.
And, yes Bill, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll say nice things about you and your podcast on mine 🙂