What to drink this week
Rueda or Verdejo
recommends this Spanish white as an easy drinking alternative to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
I’ve been expecting Spain’s Rueda, aka Verdejo, to make a breakthrough or perhaps become the new New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for those who find that style too gooseberrygreen and extreme. This hasn’t quite happened and I’m wondering if it isn’t partly a question of the name or names. Producers in this part of Castile seem divided about whether to call their wines after Rueda, the denominación de origen, or Verdejo, the grape variety.
Why you should be drinking it
Rueda/verdejo has all the right characteristics of a versatile summer or early-autumn white: it’s refreshing, with a slight touch of bitterness, but also has good mouthfeel and avoids thinness. Now, one producer in particular, working with very old vines, is showing how this wine can scale the heights of Burgundian complexity.
What to drink
At a relatively simple level, Torres Verdeo Verdejo 2015 (£7.99; www. cambridgewine.com) is excellent value: the nose is attractively floral and there is rounded ripeness on the palate. Bodegas Ossian, closer to Segovia than Valladolid, has much higher ambitions than simply delivering a wine-bar quaffer: the company aims to make the best whites in Spain. Some of its Verdejo vines are more than 160 years old and have never suffered from phylloxera. Quintaluna Verdejo, Rueda Blanco 2015 (right, £8.60, excluding VAT; www.justerinis.com) has a subtle, fenneltinged nose and excellent mouthfeel. The barrel-fermented and -aged Ossian Rueda Blanco 2014 (£21.60, excluding VAT; www.justerinis.com) has an even more interesting, strongly herbal nose plus satisfying texture and length. Capitel 2013 (£44.60, excluding VAT; www.justerinis.com) is truly Burgundian in its superb complexity and follow-through.