Sunday, March 05, 2006

Wine: 2003 Blanco Nieva Verdejo

So this is a bad pick to review since it represents the last of the 2003 vintage. Kevin at The Spanish Table said that the 2004 verdejos should be available in about six weeks.

For you zero people (except you, Anthony) who are regular readers of this blog, you know that I'm a big fan of Spanish whites. Most major spanish varietals--albarino, verdejo, txakoli, et al--have a great balance of citrus, acid, minerality, and fruit to make them wonderful drinking wines and also pair excellently with fresh, light to medium bodied food (perfect for "California Cuisine").

This particular verdejo comes not from the Rueda municipality of Spain (well-known for its verdejo wines), but rather from Nieva in the Segovia province--a region, like Rueda, the produces primarily verdejo and sauvignon blanc grapes.

The wine has distinct musty notes on the nose very similar to a muscadet. Across the tongue, the wine has a pronounced citrus quality, quite dry, with a nice tartness that got my salivary glands going. It's this middle range that makes Spanish white varietals so perfect for food--and it's a characteristic that seems to be found across the board with well-crafted Spanish whites. The finish of the wine is clean and very acidic although without any of the minerality that I've found in verdejos from Rueda.

This is a a nice, solid wine at a great price ($9.99 on sale [from $12.99]--the 2004 vintage should price in at $15-$16) that drinks alone very nicely and is a solid, well-rounded wine for drinking with appetizers, salads, small plates, and spicy entrees. Definitely not the most complex verdejo out there, but it's tasty.

Country: Spain (Nieva, Segovia)
Varietal/Blend: 100% verdejo
ABV: 12.5%
Price: $9.99 (end of vintage sale)
Purchased: The Spanish Table, San Pablo Ave.

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