viernes, 12 de abril de 2013

Bodegas Velasco Ballesteros (Torrenava Verdejo) - D.O. Rueda


Bodegas Velasco Ballesteros has recently been established by a family of local vinegrowers who historically had always only sold their grapes to local wineries in DO Rueda but have now decided to produce and bottle their own top quality wine, Torrenava Verdejo, the only wine they produce from carefully selected grapes from their own vineyards. Situated in central, north-west Spain, DO Rueda, 40 km from Valladolid on the plains of the central meseta of Castilla y León, Verdejo is the reigning king of all grape varieties in this region. Based in Nava del Rey, the winery has 50 hectares of vineyards planted mainly with Verdejo and a small percentage of Sauvignon Blanc. The Verdejo, an indigenous variety to the region since the 11th century, has flavours that are reminiscent of mountain herbs and fruital notes that have a slight sensation of sweetness because of the grapes' glycerine and alcohol components which balance its excellent acidity. Sauvignon Blanc, introduced from the Loire in the ‘70s, has adapted well to the climate and soil. It produces wines of good acidity and freshness with great aromatic intensity and exotic fruits and a touch of jasmine. The quality of the wine begins with the most careful viticultural practices in the vineyard and the selection of the vines from which the grapes are collected. Harvesting at night ensures the absolute freshness of the grapes. Bodegas Velasco Ballesteros are equipped with the most advanced methods of elaboration but also respects the traditional principles of vinification.


- Tasting notes: 100% Verdejo. Very bright, golden colour with a slight greenish tint. Wonderful, fragrant aromas of lime, salty minerals, honeysuckle and herbs, gooseberry with hints of pineapple. Delightfully fresh, clean, vibrant, spicy citrus, green apple flavours, fill the palate with cutting acidity, lingering into a lengthy, refreshing crisp finish. Structured and elegant, a really classy Verdejo.

- Price: £9.00


Rueda DO (Denominación de Origen) is an elevated region that sits on the Castilian tablelands, forming part of the larger Castilla y León autonomous region of Spain. It is located northwest of the Spanish capital, Madrid, and south of the Duero River.

Named after the town of Rueda, which bestrides the road connecting Madrid with León, it has historically been an important wine-growing area (vines were planted here more than a thousand years ago), but was devastated by phylloxera at the turn of the 20th Century. Rueda then turned to bulk wine production until the 1970s, when established bodegas (wineries) from other regions, in particular Marqués de Riscal of Rioja, recognized the region's grape-growing potential. It was awarded DO status in 1980 (the first in Castilla y León) and since then the white wines produced here have gained a considerable reputation.

Rueda's climate is continental, with some influence from the cooling effects of the Atlantic Ocean. Although variations of temperature can be marked, Rueda's summer temperatures are not excessively high and this assists in the production of quality white wines. The high altitude, significant diurnal temperature variation and selection of late-ripening varieties in the region mitigate the effects of high sunshine hours (2,600 hours a year).

The local soils, rich in lime and iron, are also a vital factor. These are very stony, yet provide good drainage and are easy to farm. Almost all of
Rueda's vineyards lie south of the Duero, along the river itself or close to its tributaries Trabancos, Zapardiel, Adaja, Eresma, Cega and Voltoya.

Verdejo is Rueda's signature grape variety, producing fruity, refreshing and dry white wines, and the region is committed to the grape's preservation and promotion. Its wines are typically aromatic and exhibit herbaceous notes, good acidity and pleasant mouthfeel thanks to its high glycerol content.

The wine laws of the region, administered by the Consejo Regulador (wine-regulating authority), permit Viura (Macabeo) and Sauvianon Blanc to be included in the blend, but Verdejo must constitute the majority. Rueda Superior, on the other hand, must contain at least 85% of that grape variety. Varietal wines based on Sauvignon Blanc are also attracting a lot of interest.

Red wine production in the region, which is quite limited, is primarily based on Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Garnacha (Grenache) are also permitted.


Verdejo is the grape variety behind some of the finest white wines of Spain. The variety owes this reputation to the classic wines of Spain's north-western wine regions, specifically Rueda. Forgotten about for hundreds of years, it was not until the 1980s that the aromatic Verdejo grape was reinvigorated by the famous producers Marques de Riscal and Marques de Grinon. Here, Verdejo is blended with Macabeo (Viura) and, increasingly, Sauvianon Blanc. Verdejo must make up at least 50% of Rueda DO wines, and at least 85% for Rueda Superior.

The origins of Verdejo remain unclear. It seems most likely that it is indigenous to Rueda, though it has also been suggested that it arrived in southern Spain from North Africa, then made its way north in the 11th Century. Wherever the variety came from, Rueda is certainly its home now, as it is barely grown anywhere outside Spain.

Verdejo is high in glycerol and acid, sometimes taking on nutty flavors as it ages. It can be aromatic and herbaceous at its best and capable
of producing wines worthy of cellaring, though usually it is best consumed when young. Varietal Verdejo wines are increasingly popular, and a handful of international plantings have been trialed in Australia.

Synonyms include: Planta Fina.

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