Episode 28 Wine Blogging Wednesday#20 Wrap-Up
Play now! – [audio:http://m.podshow.com/media/164/episodes/3815/wine-3815-04-12-2006.mp3]
El gusto del vino, es como delicada poesia
A Guy and a Girl’s pick for Wine Blogging Wednesday #20 – Casamaro Verdejo Rueda ($10.99)
The goal of this month’s installment of WBW was to find and sample a white wine. Easy you say? Pah-shaw. The twist? Well, fellow podcaster and wino Bill from Wine for Newbies insisted on No blends. and oh yeah, it can’t be a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or a Riesling. Now what are you left with? Sure, we can here you saying, “but c’mon you two, even we fellow novice
oenophiles (Definition – A Lover or connoisseur of wine) know that you can still find Chenin Blanc, or the super-duper yummy Semillion”. We still say Pah-shaw. First off – Chenin blanc, well, yeah, we coulda/woulda/shoulda, but we wanted to let some of our fellow bloggers and podcasters pick the easy ones. Semillion? Truth be told, we did pick up a bottle of wine made from 100% semillion grapes, but decided to save that for another day. (BTW – it isn’t all that easy to find a bottle made from 100% semillion, most are blended with Sauvignon Blanc). What did we settle on? We went all out and went to Spain, and found a bottle of Casamaro Verdejo Rueda ($10.99) wine made by the Garciarevalo family owned winery, created entirely from the Verdejo grape.
Verdejo grape: White. Very high quality and one of the best white varieties in Spain. It makes very aromatic, glyceric, soft wines with body. It is plentiful in Valladolid (69%), Segovia and Ávila. It is considered a main variety of Rueda Denomination of Origin (D.O.)
Other Merchant Reviews
87 Pts – Robert Parker “An excellent value that has never seen a day in oak, the 2004 Casamaro Blanco, a 100% Verdelho from 50-130-year old ungrafted vines, is a soft, delicious white exhibiting plenty of honeyed apricot, peach, and floral-like characteristics. It is a medium-bodied, crisp, lively effort to drink over the next year.”
2004 Garciarevalo Casamaro Rueda – Rueda is a region of Spain best known for fresh whites with zinging acidity and fresh citrusy notes. This stainless steel treated offering is no exception. Fresh lemon zest notes and long finishing, this wine made 100% from the Verdejo grape is best matched with shellfish, sushi and chicken.
– Chris Cree, 56 Degree Wines, January 8, 2006
Sponsorship Information; Special thanks to Uncle Bens Whole Grain Brown Rice for providing sponsorship for ‘A Guy, a Girl, and a Bottle’. As mentioned in the podcast, Uncle Bens is sponsoring a receipe contest using their whole grain rice products – enter your receipe at www.unclebens.com/recipecontest. Don’t forget to share your receipe with us! (Pam is always looking for great receipes!)
Garciarevalo is a family owned winery established in 1991 in Matapozuelos in the heart of Rueda. They specialize in Verdejo with additional plantings of Viura. They have 40 hectares of over-100 year old vines including Verdejo vines that are up to 130 years old. The unique qualities of this site are evident in the soils that differ from most other areas of Rueda. The soil is sand here and it allows for excellent drainage and greater difference between day and night temperatures. Long winters with late frosts combine with hot and dry summers create the ideal situation to cultivate grapes with the perfect balance of sugar and acidity.
Believing that the key to a good wine is in the raw materials, Garciarevalo strive to to make a wine as true to the fruit as possible. The utmost care and latest technologies are used to extract a juice that reflects the hard work and special attention given in the fields. The wines are then put through temperature controlled fermentation to create a final product of the highest quality.
Rueda Denomination of Origin (D.O.)
Located approximately 170 km northwest of Madrid and just southwest of the mythical Ribera del Duero red wine region, lies the hugely successful wine appellation of Rueda. Wine has been produced in the Rueda region commercially since the 11th century during the reign of Alfonso XI who was the ruler of the kingdom of Castilla y Leon (the castle and the lion). Rueda was destroyed by the Moors in the 10th century during the ongoing battles and the area was depopulated until Alfonso XI, as a last effort to save the region from complete destruction, declared that anyone working the land would gain ownership of it. In came the monastic orders and wine production was begun in earnest. Sherry style wines (oxidised) were made in Rueda for centuries from the native Verdejo grape. Rueda wines came to be particularly adored by the Royal Courts. When Felipe III was resident in Valladolid, for example, he requisitioned half the wine produced in Medina del Campo, as this area was then known.
Like many other wine regions in Europe, Rueda suffered in the first half of the 20th century. The Spanish civil war and the dictatorship under Franco did nothing to benefit the local wine industry. It wasn’t until Marques de Riscal, the famed Rioja winery, arrived to Rueda in 1971 that the region came back into relevance for wine lovers. The region was revolutionized with the new ideas and technology Marques de Riscal brought, and has become famous for producing delightful, fresh and fruity white wines from the Verdejo grape (as opposed to unfashionable, Sherry style wines). Riscal also introduced Sauvignon Blanc to the Rueda wine region, which they discovered blended sublimely with Verdejo. These days, Rueda is wildly successful and producing amazingly good value for money fruity wines that are regularly compared to French Sancerres and New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.
In the 18th century the vineyard area was larger than today and planted exclusively with Verdejo. The wine’s success was due in part to clarifying through local clay, which made it very clean and long-keeping. Rueda wines continued to be commercially successful until phylloxera disrupted production, destroying two-thirds of the vineyards between 1909 and 1922. Vines for replanting were chosen for yield rather than quality and Palomino replaced Verdejo, the main grape, although young wines made from it were sold locally in bulk.
The Rueda DO is flat, but high meseta land with wide horizons and gently rolling hills. The vineyards are divided between three provinces: the majority are in Valladolid, but others are in Avila and Segovia. The River Duero flows from east to west across the northern part of the growing area. Close to it there are limy alluvial soils with a limestone content rising to 24%. In the south the topsoil is brown and sandy with a subsoil of sandstone and clay. Drainage is good, the soil is reasonably rich in iron and it is generally easy to work. Altitudes vary between 600 and 780 metres.
There are three types of young white wine: minimum 75% varietal Verdejos, which are called Rueda Superior; 100% varietal Sauvignon Blanc; and Rueda Blanco, which must be made with a minimum of 40% Verdejo or Sauvignon. Verdejo wines are characterised by their very aromatic, citric grassiness and good structure.
Lastly, the music on tonights show is brought to us by Irene. Check her out here
Bonus! -Map of the Wine regions of Spain – HERE
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-A Guy & a Girl