Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Peaches & Cream

 You talk about a misleading title!  This one takes the cake!  Peaches & cream cake, of course!  

What we're really talking about here is the 2017 Beronia Rueda (roo-ay-da) 100% Verdejo (vurr-day-ho) Spanish varietal white wine.  Characterizing this beauty, of course, is where the "peaches and cream" business comes in.  Make no mistake, this wine is dry, like most European whites are dry, so don't think the "peaches and cream" refers to dessert.  The more accurate term for this one would be "stone fruit" and "malolactic" (fermentation) so lets dissect these terms.

In wine lingo, stone fruit really applies to peaches and apricots, two fruits with pits.  For wine geeks the pits flavor the wine also.  Viognier is quintessential stone fruit wine.  From the first sip of our Rueda, the wine explodes with stone fruit except it's more apricotty than peachy.  Apricots and cream just doesn't have the same mouthwatering appeal as peaches and cream.

Malolactic fermentation is that winemaking process that converts the grapes' malic acid into the lactic acid that dairy products exhibit, hence the creaminess referred to in the post title.  While I get that creaminess in this wine it's just negligible compared to other examples of malolactic.  The creaminess that I get may be intrinsic to this grape type.  In any event the creaminess enriches the body of the wine.

This wine also has a distinct herbaceousness that adds yet another dimension to its flavor profile.

Here's some actual information about Rueda, just so you don't feel you've wasted your time here.

Rueda is a DO (denominacion de origen protegida), a legally defined and protected wine appellation.  It encompasses 13,005 hectares (32,000 acres) in the provinces of Valladolid, Segovia and Avila in north central Spain.  The entire appellation is a plateau at 6-700 meters above sea level.  In the center of the appellation lies the town of Rueda.  

The Rueda appellation has a continental climate of hot summers and cold winters with maritime affected rainfalls in the spring and fall.  The soils are alluvial with an iron content in either a sandy or clayey consistency.  The soil drainage is good here which belies the fact that the soils are poor, which means the grapevines have to struggle for nourishment leading to deeper taproots and ultimately, more flavorful wines.

Verdejo is the indigenous grape of the region and eighty percent of Rueda is planted in that one type.  Some of those vines are a hundred years old.  90+% of the wine produced in Rueda is white wine.  If it is labelled "Rueda" it must be at least 50% Verdejo.  If it is labelled "Verdejo" it must be at least 85% Verdejo. 

Interestingly enough the Rueda appellation is flanked by two great red wine appellations, Toro to the west and Ribero del Duero to the east.  All three lie on the same latitude with their respective wine regions inhabiting the same Duero River basin.  To the west of them all lies Portugal's finest wine region of the same name.

Just in case you can't tell, we like this wine.  So stop in and give it a try.  

Did we mention it's modestly priced?

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