I just wanted to posts some quick impressions on Veleta wines, following a tasting I did yesterday with Veleta owner and board member, Nola Palomar. She was kind enough to swing through Ann Arbor on her way to Chicago, and together with her super-cute daughter, took the time to walk me through her lineup.
I did not make proper notes, so forgive the imprecise nature of these comments.
First up was a new variety for me, Vijiriega, in both sparkling and still versions. It’s a deeply savory variety, apparently, full of secondary characteristics. The bottle fermented bubbly was particularly impressive for its persistence and mineral detail.
Two vintages of Chardonnay showed two faces, although both were intensely fruity. Both clearly oaked, they were very contemporary, but also had the requisite acidity to keep them from being cloying and boring. The '07 was richer and more harmonious, while the lighter colored '08 was urgent and vibrant, with more of an edge.
A rosado from Tempranillo was very richly colored ruby, and stunningly cherry flavored, perhaps the most cherry tasting wine I’ve ever had! Really…both tart and black cherry flavors in ample amounts.
Tempranillo, in the full red version, was plush and supple, as was the Cabernet Sauvignon, and both had loads of ripe, sweet fruit. Both were also correct-tasting for the varieties, according to New World profiles, particularly the Cab.
A proprietary red blend, Nolados (cab sauv, cab franc, tempranillo) was the most refined and complex of the reds, with nice earthy detailing finely knit in the mixed fruit flavors. This is clearly the flagship wine.
In all, these wines showed considered winemaking, quality, and a very contemporary profile, which is to say that they are big, rich and fruity. Surely the wineries location, in the south of Spain, comes through clearly in terms of ripeness and overall balance; as Nola explained, they are in an arid zone with wide diurnal temperature swings and lots of clay soil.
Without a doubt, these wines should have great market appeal in general, and are probably great “show wines” as well, both facts derived from the charming, plush, ripe fruitiness and generous textures. Once I saw the pricing, I was all the more convinced of their broad appeal. No, they’re not geek wines, excepting the Vijiriega espumoso, perhaps, but they are well-made, fully enjoyable wines that overdeliver in several categories.
Well done wines, Nola, and thanks again for the introduction!
Just to be clear, we did taste together as a way to explore the possibility of bringing Veleta into Michigan, although at this time, we have no partnership or agreement, and so I’m not invested in these wines, and they are open to anyone else in the state who might want to distribute them. I just wanted to post notes as I usually do, and do Nola a good turn if possible. She certainly seems to be a good, honest person.