The Martin family has deep roots in the food and agricultural industries in Spain dating back three generations. In 2012, they launched two ambitious businesses in the northwestern region of Castilla y León: ‘Pago de ValdeCuevas’, which makes high quality extra virgin olive oils from the Arbequina varietal in Medina de Rioseco, and ‘Bodega Valdecuevas’, which produces wines in the Rueda appellation with a specific focus on the indigenous varietal, Verdejo. The vineyards at Bodega Valdecuevas span 300 acres and sit at a very high altitude of over 2,500 ft. Soils are rocky and loaded with gravel from the alluvium carried through by the River Duero. The aeration permitted by the gravel, in conjunction with the area’s special microclimate of dry, very cold winters and hot summers with cool nights makes for an ideal environment in which to produce fresh, concentrated and expressive wines. In addition to Verdejo, with which the Bodega crafts several different single varietal and blended wines, the estate also makes two different Tempranillo-based rosés.
While we are often times unimpressed with the many versions of simple, lackluster Verdejo available on the market today, this one from Bodegas Valdecueva truly stunned us and reinvigorated our interest in the varietal. Part of what sets this version apart is the fact that it spent four months aging on its lees and underwent ‘bâttonage’ or stirring of the lees which imparts depth and an almost creamy texture to an otherwise lean and zesty wine. Aromas are very green and fragrant in character, including notes of green apple, fennel, jalapeño and lemongrass. The herbal and vegetal notes carry through to the palate which also showcases riper flavors as in kiwi fruit, green peach and underripe pineapple. A zippy acidity provides impeccable balance between the fresh, vivid quality of the wine and its luscious texture and carries through to a crisp and palate-cleansing finish. If you enjoy the grassy, exotic notes of Southern Hemisphere Sauvignon Blanc but want to try something a bit different, we strongly urge you to give this Verdejo a try!