For wine lovers there is an insatiable thirst to find delicious new wines to add to our repertoire. Summer does drive this quest in a particular direction – fresh, crisp whites with lots of flavour fit the bill perfectly and this white Rueda is just the ticket. We’ve seen something of a revolution in white winemaking in the Rueda region. In the past, grapes were suffering from less than gentle handling which means the wines weren’t reflecting the true potential of the grapes. The modern face of Rueda is entirely different. Verdejo is the grape in question and it is really quite a delicate little thing.
The aim for growers is to protect the freshly picked grapes from the ravages of heat and the juice from exposure to oxygen. In Rueda they pick at night or very early in the morning while it’s still cool, carefully transport the grapes to the winery as quickly as possible and use refrigerated tanks to keep the temperature down during fermentation. This gentle handling has transformed the wines which are now deliciously fresh, crisp and fruity.
The Rueda wine region is north-west of Madrid spanning a number of communities mainly within the province of Valladolid. As with all winemaking operations, climate plays a big part in shaping what ends up in the bottle and in Rueda it’s the contrast between winter and summer temperatures (hot summers, freezing winters) and the average of 2700 hours of sun and 407mm of rainfall a year that influence the personality of the wine. Verdejo is the star grape in the area, ably assisted by understudies Sauvignon Blanc and Viura.
Bodega Monte Pedroso is a small family concern set up in 2000 as part of the Familia Bujanda portfolio. Like all Bujanda operations (JN customers may be familiar with their great-value Riojas), it is dedicated to making high quality wines. Verdejo is perfectly adapted to the harsh continental climate, having been cultivated in the area since the 16th century. Montepedroso is aged on its lees (dead yeast cells, skins and various grape solids that separate from the juice) for five months adding complexity to its main attributes of freshness and elegance.
The wine found favour with Oz Clarke who included it in his My Top Wines for 2013. More recently, Liam Campbell of the Irish Independent described it as: Scented with freshly squeezed lemons. Tingling lemon and lime with a jammy fruity curd. Useful on the table as an effective fat blaster, loving to wrestle with creamy, oily and buttery dishes." (Irish Independent, 26 July 2014)