TN: dos blancos españoles

Viñedos Nieva, Rueda, Verdejo Pie Franco, 2010
From really old vines, comes this pale colored white wine from Spain with a spicy floral nose, light-to-medium bodied, with dried floral flavors and a slightly bitter green almond finish. It’s good, but can I taste old vines? Eh… B+

Bodegas Marañones, Vinos de Madrid, ‘Picarana’, 2010
100% Albillo. Medium-light gold. Smoky muskmelon nose, with a slight hint of flint. Smoky melon on the palate, with a honeysuckle blossom finish. Similar in some ways to a marsanne/roussane blend, but with more brightness to the palate and lacking the dull ending finish many of those have. Worth the $19 price tag. B+ [Alcohol note: the importer (LDM) has this labeled as “13%” on their back label, but it feels closer to the “14.5%” as labeled on the winery label. Somebody is surely not telling the truth.]

Hi Markus. Not sure what you mean by “tasting” the old vines but they are indeed old and ungrafted. I’m curious as to what you were expecting? I taste a lot of wine but I’ve never tasted the age of the vine. OTOH, perhaps it’s just that you don’t love Verdejo? I completely understand that. Although this isn’t one of them, it can produce a wine that’s like Sauvignon Blanc, which I don’t particularly care for in most instances. Anyhow, there’s plenty of wine around and I’d encourage you to try some more Spanish whites. Cheers!

Greg, I enjoyed the wine and i like (but not love - always feels a little soft to me) verdejo.

Sometimes wines show their old-vine roots, so to speak. Take Do Ferreiro’s godellos for example. The difference is quite stark between the regular and the Cepas Velhas (the 120 or so year-old vines). Sometimes you get the old-vine qualities with Burgundy, and other wines. It is not always a face hit quality, but something more subtle that shows through. Hard to explain and I can’t say I find it regularly, but sometimes there is a different gravitas to the wine. Does this explain better?

Maybe - do you know their other wines? They do a basic Verdejo and a Sauvignon Blanc. Usually pretty lean and crisp.

From Rueda I’m not a fan of most SB. There are a few that are OK, including theirs, but the Verdejo is what makes the region. It’s true that it’s not as piercing as SB from say, the Loire, or even some of the Albarino farther north, but maybe it’s for those reasons that I kind of like it.

BTW, I also sell that wine, which is why I was curious.