DO Rueda Comes to Valencia!

DO Rueda Comes To Valencia!
Last night, 7 June saw DO Rueda sweep into Valencia to present their wines at the Valencia Palace Hotel. Last time the DO was here was April 2007 and was one of my first invitations from Verema to attend a major tasting. This time the motive was the 30th anniversary of the DO but who needs an excuse to taste these excellent white wines? Also by invitation of Verema who organised the tasting with the DO some 500 people ( including other wine-bloggers, wine-professionals and members of Valencias Club de Enofilos ) took the opportunity to taste a range of wines from some 30 bodegas.
DO Rueda situated between Vallodolid, Villafranca de Duero, Salamanca and Segovia is best known for its dry white wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Viura and Palomino Fino. In fact there are also rosados and tintos though these are overshadowed by nearby Ribera del Duero. Most bodegas present showed a Verdejo and a Sauvignon blanc together with a blended white and a Fermentado en Barrica ( FIB ). However there were a couple of Rosados, some espumosas and the odd semi-dulce also on taste!
The nature of events like these is that whilst it is not impossible to taste all the 150 or so wines available, it really is not practical to comment on all of them and to enjoy discussing the wines with the producers and distributors and fellow tasters present.  Apologies therefore to those Bodegas who do not get a mention even if I did sample your excellent products as I have decided to restrict this blog to sensible proportions and a few notable favourites!
I will start with the wines of Cuatro Rayas, presented on the night by Julio San Jose Sancho and his distributor in Valencia , Felix Moreno Muñoz of Difemosa based in Sedavi. First wine was the Verdejo 2009 12.5% which is sold in Marks and Spencer in the UK. Winner of several prizes and rated by Robert Parker, the wine is a pale lemon yellow with gold flashes, clean and bright. On the nose fresh fruit, green apple, white flowers. On the palate fresh, balanced round and fruity with an aftertaste of fennel which is a characteristic of verdejo.  The Sauvignon Blanc by contrast was pale lemon with green flashes, clean and bright, on the nose a good citrus note gives way to cats pee and gooseberry. On the palate quite fat, smooth, round and balanced with pineapple and passion fruit. Finally we tasted their Verdejo Viñedos Centenarios. This wine was from the 2006 vintage. A bright lemon yellow, clean and bright with green flashes. On the nose initially a little closed then floral then great waves of fennel  and on the palate creasmy powerful and full of flavour.
These were amongst my favourite wines on the night and more info is available from 
 Your blogger at work!
Next we looked at the wines from Felix Sanz. I picked out the Viña Cimbron Verdejo 2007 FIB, a wine whose antecedents  are award winners. Fermented in the barrel and spending  9 months in wood, the wine was gold with green flashes clean and bright and with long legs. On the nose it was full on flowers, pineapple and some hints of oak, and on the palate unctuous, creamy and very well balanced with a long  persistent finish.
Of the wines from Viñedos de Nieva the Blanco Nieva, 2007 FIB also stood out. This was also pale gold with gold flashes, clean and bright. Initially closed on the nose it was restrained and then  full fennel. On the palate dry, well balanced if perhaps a touch too much of green apples, but smooth and refined. 
Both wines from Bodegas Pedro Escudero were worthy of mention. Essentially ecological wines though not yet certified as such. The Fuente Elvira Verdejo 2009 was pale gold with bright flashes, long legs and clean and bright. On the nose elegant with hints of fennel and summer fruit ( peach) , and in the mouth it is fruity, big, well structured and fresh with a long finish. The verdejo 2008 FIB was pale gold with green flashes and long legs. On the nose very refined with nicely balanced pineapple, cream, and a little hint of oak. In the mouth very nicely balanced, restrained, smooth and a long satisfying finish. I particularly liked this wine. 
Oro de Castillo, my favourite wines of the night.
A change of direction to sample the wines of Bodegas Hermanos del Villar reunited me with a wine that used to be sold in the now shut wine-shop in the village here, Oro de Castillo. Both the verdejo and sauvignon Blanc were terrific in their own right but the Fermentado en Barrica, Verdejo was quite something. By coincidence Miguel Angel Martin of was also at the stand and I think he was surprised by what we found in this wine. Straw green with golden flashes, long legs and clean and bright. On the nose cream and vanilla was gradually overtaken by capers and olives and a hint of honey. On the palate it is very smooth, full bodied, powerful with minerals and butter and a dry satisfying finish. A real talking point this wine!
I also liked the wines from Castelo de Medina, created in 1996 in Villaverde de Medina. Starting with the Sauvignon Blanc which was pale straw, clean and bright, this had nice hints of gooseberry and tropical fruits in the background. In the mouth it was quite minerally, almost flinty dry but with a long full finish. The Verdejo was straw yellow with golden flashes and clean and bright. On the nose fennel, and hints of apple and in the mouth quite striking, full, round, balanced finish.
Wines from Castelo de Medina.
The Castelo Noble Verdejo FIB with six months in barrel was also notable. Yellow with golden tones and green flashes. On the nose vanilla, grass and fennel. On the palate it was very  smooth, full bodied but nicely balanced and a round long finish. Good structure. 
Next we looked at the Protos Verdejo 2009. This was lemon clear and bright with medium legs. The nose was quite closed and what was there was more like wet wool than fruit. However on the palate the wine was nice, restrained, steely even but surprisingly full and satisfying. One to try again.
Another Verdejo from Bodegas Hijos de Alberto Gutierrez was recommended by some friends from Valencias Club de Enofilos. The Verdejo de Alberto is a multi award winning wine so thay had precedent to back up their opinion! Quite bright straw in colour, green flashes. On the nose very full of tropical fruit, hay. On the palate fresh and crisp, long persistent dry satisfying finish. Certainly worth trying with food and revisiting soon.
Finally I tasted three wines from Palacio de Bornos. The verdejo 2009 was straw, with a green flash. On the nose tropical fruits and ripe apple. On the palate soft and full with a long finish. The Verdejo FIB was old gold in colour with green flashes. A complex nose vanilla, butter and smoky wood with mature apple and pear fruit. On the palate full bodied, with a lot of the flavours mentioned from the nose, finishing with an almost marmalade afternote. This was one of the bodegas with both an espumoso and a semi-dulce. I tried the latter in the spirit of fairness and the likelihood no-one else would write about it! Shiny gold in colour, but light, clear and bright. Herby, laurel (?) tropical fruits and honey but in the mouth harmonious, balanced fresh and not cloying. Probably one for granny!
The wines from Palacio de Bornos.
Another very interesting tasting event and thanks to Verema again for the organisation and invitation. It was a pleasure to revisit some old friends, meet some new ones and taste a variety of wines from a different part of Spain.
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