Saturday was my birthday and nearly all of the gifts came in bottle form. Sidebar: ever notice how many different shapes bottles come in? Turns out the bottle tells you all kinds of things about the wine. Try identifying where the five bottles above come from (hint: none of them are verdejo. also, my hints are worthless). Check out this link for the answers (and that cool image).
But yes, friends and relatives were kinda amazing about the wine this weekend. Most of them were too good to make it through the night and have already metamorphed into bygone memories of summer yore. Some are still sitting in my cellar (better known as the storage cage in the basement), ready for their day at making memories.
Verdejo – Heart of Spain
One bottle even contained a grape not yet on this blog – Verdejo. Spanish as the word SeleÃ±o, pasty white in color and with sarcastic minerality, this is Verdejo. It’s the heart of Spain, both in location (from center left on the medical coloring book of Spain’s body – Castile y Leon) and in history (castellaÃ±o, another way to say espaÃ±ol, comes from the Castile y Leon King who conquered Spain and came up with that weird lispy way of speaking). h/t wineonhigh for the image.
Verdejo used to be made into fortified wine, sorta nutty like a sherry, but at a fraction of the price. There it remained for over a thousand years until the 1970s when wine-making powerhouse MarquÃ©s de Riscal started experimenting with white wine up in the mountains. Results have been really good according to the (three) people I’ve spoken with who had heard of Verdejo. Count me in as #4 for liking this wine.
Tried this one twice – once after “tasting” many other wines, once the next day when actually focusing. what I got between those two was pretty fragrant smell (lost some on day 2), big peach taste with full rounded mouth, medium acidity and stony taste. Big enough that your mom will like it, acid enough that your wino brother will too. Bring to family events.
Shaya 2009 Verdejo Old Vine from Rueda in Castile y Leon, Spain
* Verdejo is harvested at night, by vampires. Part of that statement is true.
* North Africa is Verdejo’s true home, pre-11th century when it came to Rueda.
* V is for Value, not just Verdejo. $10-15 for almost everything on the market.