2018 Cantos Blancos Verdejo
Verdejo is an ancient grape varietal that was planted in Spain in the 11th century. This varietal almost had its demise thanks to international varietals like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, however Marqueres Riscal decided to bring this grape back from certain extinction and named it the 'official' white grape of Spain in the 1970's.
The grape mostly grows in the Rueda region of Spain. There are some other vineyards that are producing Verdejo's in the US and Australia, but most are in the area of Rueda. Rueda is located in the northwestern part of Spain. Remember Portugal is also on the Iberian Peninsula, so if you're thinking of those two countries together, it's located more in the Central part of the Peninsula.
Not only is this a great white wine for the summer, but throughout the year. Also a good Rueda is not going to break your wallet and you can even age it in your cellar to age 5+ years, just be pick a wine with more acidity to ensure it can be properly aged over the years. (think Riesling acidity)
I chose to not age:) but to try the Cantos Blancos Verdejo from 2018.
The wine is a dry, pale straw colored wine that has some green flecks. The legs are medium speed forming in this 13.5% abv wine.
On the initial sniff, I get aromas of mandarin, peach, lemon zest, as the wine opens up some orange blossom and thyme come through.
The taste is of a waxy golden apple, tart lemon curd, barely ripe mandarin orange, sweet hay, and spiciness of white pepper in the middle to the end. There's a bitterness too that I'm trying to place....fresh kale?
The finish starts off with medium intensity, builds in the middle to a peak of tartness and acidity of fresh fruits like lemons and green apples, then has a soft long finish, kept going by the warmness of the white pepper.
You can find this wine at Waterfront Wine and Spirits for under $15. So buy a bottle to drink now, and a couple more to age. Open in the next couple years, and take notes on how it tasted fresh, aged for 1-2 years, and then aged 3-5 years. Sound like a great science project:) Cheers!