Verdejo, Rueda, Spain
£9 UK delivery
The colour of a glass of Traslagares strikes you first – its colour is lemony gold with definite flashes of an attractive green. On the nose, I have to acknowledge that this wine does not reveal all its treasures. There are definitely more aromatic wines around, and the nose of this wine reminds me more of an unoaked Chardonnay. That is where the similarity with Chardonnay ends, however. The first flavours in the mouth are zingy citrus and herby grasses – not unlike a Sauvignon Blanc on first impression. (In fact, Sauvignon Blanc grows very well in Rueda, but I am glad they are concentrating on their own, special, grape.) Quickly into the mouth comes more fruit – pears, I think- and more herbs – I think a touch of aniseedy fennel, but others think I am nuts; then the lovely bite of mineral kicks in, which is always something that gives a white wine character and interest. Finally, the finish in the mouth is savoury. This is difficult to describe, and the words are not necessarily attractive, but don't be put off! There is a hint of hedgerow, damp leaves in autumn, something like that. Give it a try, see if you can pick it up too, or maybe you can give me a better description. All in all, Verdejo is a rare treasure. It may struggle to find a place in the market, dominated as it is by so-called international varieties, but I think this wine is very much worth your trouble.
Bone dry, steely (mineral, bracing)
Dry, fresh, citrus (grass, white flowers, could be some richness)
Dry, apricot, nutty (some richness)
Dry, aromatic, peach (floral, creamy, could be some butteriness)
Off-dry, exotic (rich, scented flowers, mango, lychee)
Dry, herby, fruity, savoury with a mineral finish
£9 UK delivery
Wines from Toro deserve to be better known in UK. Quality is excellent, and the style fits very well with the modern taste for rich fresh fruit and a restrained but definite backbone.
This is a sumptuously complex wine from a dedicated family producer who excel in producing high quality wines. The fruit is prominent and luscious. Think red and black fruits – plums and blackberries – ripe and full of sweet juice, colour and flavour. This depth of flavour comes from the grape variety – Tempranillo, from the long hot summer days, sometimes up to 40 degrees, and from the super-late harvesting, often well into October. The fruit is luscious but also, somehow, fresh. (Compare this with, say, a Merlot from a hot country, where the plum flavours can be jammy and flabby, a taste that soon palls.) How does the producer achieve this?
Light-bodied, delicate red fruit (strawberry, raspberry, redcurrant), leafy
Medium-bodied, red fruit, delicate tannin
Medium-bodied, plums, silky tannin (earthy)
Full-bodied, blackberry, elegant tannin, hint of oak
Full-bodied, blackcurrant, rich, punchy oak
The fruit is ripe and dark, but retaining its freshness, and the oak, with a lovely balance of savoury and sweet spice, shows off the freshness without smothering it.
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