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The Verdejo Grape


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About Verdejo

(Synonyms: Albillo de Nava, Botón de Gallo Blanco, Verdeja, Verdejo Blanco)

Background

Map showing the Rueda region of Spain

Verdejo is a white-wine grape originating in the Rueda region of Spain, though possibly brought there from North Africa in the 11th century. It was long used for making sherry-like oxidized wines; it was only as recently as about 40 years ago that white table wines of Verdejo began to emerge. It is today used in blends, but also frequently made as a monovarietal bottling. Spanish wines labelled Rueda must be at least 50% Verdejo; if the label more explicitly says Rueda Verdejo, the Verdejo content must be at least 85% and is often 100%.

(Do not confuse Verdejo with Verdelho, nor with Gouveio, which is often called "Verdelho". There will be a quiz in the morning.)

Verdejo makes a fairly full-bodied wine. In many descriptions, it is a soft, rounded, almost creamy wine, with a full nose and flavor; qualities such as “honeyed” and “nutty” are often heard in descriptions of the taste. On the other hand, not a few descriptions are rather different, emphasizing tartness, acid crispness, minerality, and definite citrus notes. Clearly, there are significant variations in winemaking style for Verdejo, and one needs to decide which style best meets personal preferences (though both might well do so). One style clue is if the label description referes to lees contact: if so, it is likely to be the softer, creamier style. Two other taste notes: a taste often mentioned for Verdejo is fennel, which is a mild anise flavor; also, many descriptions refer to a slightly bitter finish, which is seen as varietally characteristic and desireable.

Factoid: Verdejo seems especially prone to oxidation; modern winemaking techniques have much reduced the scope of the problem as the wine goes into the bottle, but it is still possible to find the occasional oxidized bottle if reasonable care was not taken at all stages of transportation and storage.

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Some Descriptions of Verdejo Wines

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Some Verdejos to Try

(About this list.)

Bodegas Naia (Viña Sila) “Naia” Verdejo
(Have a care: they bottle several differing but similarly named Verdejo-based wines.
 Bodegas Naia is the company; Viña Sila is their winery.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Bodegas Vinedos de Nieva de Martúe “Blanco Nieva” Verdejo
(This is not their upscale “Pie Franco” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Bodegas Ordoñez “Nisia” Old Vines Verdejo

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Shaya Verdejo Old Vines
(This is not their “Habis” Old Vines bottling, which is our “splurge” choice as listed farther below, nor their “Arindo” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Martínsancho Verdejo

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

Our nomination is the Shaya “Habis” Old Vines Verdejo.

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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This page was last modified on Thursday, 16 January 2020, at 11:17 pm Pacific Time.