Traslagares Verdejo, Rueda (2015)
Verdejo, Rueda, Spain
£9 UK delivery
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
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.
At a glance
- Wine name - Traslagares Verdejo, Rueda
- Colour - White
- Region - Rueda
- Country - Spain
- Grape varietals - Verdejo
- Vinification - Cold-fermented in stainless steel, aged in stainless steel
- Style - Dry, herby, fruity, savoury with a mineral finish
- Vineyard name - Traslagares
- Producer name - Jennifer Aguado at Pago Traslagares
- Vintage - 2015
- Price - £69.00
Rueda is on a high, limestony, gravelly plain. This is real, productive farming country, with miles of arable fields, dotted with cattle and pig farms to convert the grain into meat. And then there is this ridge of land with just the right soils, surrounding the tiny but proud town of Rueda. It always amazes me how, over the centuries, grape growers have sought out and found just the right combination of soil, aspect, weather and grape variety for their region. In Rueda, they identified the Verdejo grape centuries ago, but then it fell into obscurity, thanks to poor wine-making rather than an inferior grape. It is only in the last decades that the region has rediscovered its unique treasure, invested in the right kit, and made a stupendous success of this highly original wine.
I spotted some beautifully tended vines and a smart new winery and found an experienced winegrower, in the Martínez Gaona family. They set up in 2009 the ambitious project of building their own winery, Traslagares, at their property located in the municipality of Rueda resuming the wine-making tradition inherited from their grandfathers. This great example of a Verdejo - an amazing white grape native to Rueda in Spain - is produced through a winemaking system that does everything to preserve the freshness and quality of every grape. The producers primary objective is to produce exquisite Verdejo wine produced using only the grapes found on their vines. They have given Good Wine Hunter the privilege of being the first UK retailer to import their wine, and so introduce Traslagares Verdejo from the Rueda region of Spain, into the UK.