18 August 2014

Spanish Verdejo

Ampelography is the branch of botany that deals with the identification of grape varieties. Traditionally this was done through identifying leaf shape and color of the fruit, but now we do it through DNA testing. You might think that the scientific approach would make everyone sit down and rationally agree as to which grapes originated where, but I'm guessing you haven't watched many daytime TV shows hosted by Maury Povich.

Verdejo is a white wine grape of North African origin grown in the Rueda region of Spain since the 11th century. It is not related to the Verdelho grape that is famous on the Portuguese island of Madeira. It is also not the same as the Italian grape Verdello, which, coincidentally, is one of the Spanish nicknames for a fourth unrelated grape better known as Pedro Ximénez. Complicating matters are outdated wine books that group all of these as the same grape. There is a tendency by some to believe that the older a book is, the more authoritative it is. However, we're talking about biology. You (hopefully) wouldn't look to the middle ages for medical advice when modern treatments can cure you.

2013 Protos Verdejo
Rueda, Spain
100% Verdejo
$10, 13% abv.

The wine opens up early with a bright and fruity nose of peach and pineapple. On the tongue it has mild acidity and a delicate, floral finish.

2012 Yllera Verdejo
Rueda, Spain
100% Verdejo
$10, 12.5% abv.

This one is softer and milder with a rounder body, and a far more restrained style. Very faint mandarin orange flavor and a light finish.

Both are perfect for summer, and the great bargains make them ideal for picnic purposes. Throw one in the cooler and enjoy with cheese, fruit, and salumi under the sun. Salud!

Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.

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