29 Jun Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Bodegas Vidal Soblechero 2020 Vina Clavidor Verdejo Rueda
Tempranillo may be the king of Spain, but Verdejo is the queen. Spain’s most popular white grape, Verdejo is grown across the country, but it is native to the region of Rueda in Castilla y Leon. Best described as a cross between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, Verdejo produces an aromatic and elegant wine with beautiful acidity, such as the Bodegas Vidal Soblechero 2020 Vina Clavidor Verdejo Rueda, the Please The Palate wine of the week.
Located in Castilla y Leon, Rueda is next to Ribera del Duero. Ribera del Duero produces the red wine Tempranillo and Rueda produces white wine with Verdejo. In 1980, Rueda became the first appellation in Castilla y León to receive the Designation of Origin (DO), which was also the first DO for white wine in Spain. To be a DO Rueda Verdejo, the wine must contain at least 85 percent Verdejo.
Rueda sits at half a mile above sea level, where the climate is extreme and cruel with cold winters, late springs and blistering summers. It may be harsh for humans but Verdejo thrives under these conditions, concentrating flavor. Lots of sunshine, low rainfall and winds keep the vineyards dry, allowing for a practically organic viticulture. Roots are forced to dig deep through the sandy, stony soil for water and nutrients, giving the wines a slight minerality. Huge temperature swings between day and night help maintain the balance between sugar and acidity in the Verdejo grape.
Bodegas Vidal Soblechero, also known as Viña Clavidor, is a small family winery. The vines were planted by Claudio Vidal Obregón over forty years ago but it was not until the 1990s when his children Vidal and Alicia decided to start making wine with a focus on quality over quantity. The grapes comes from the 100 acres of head-trained vines, many of them older vines.
The 2020 Vina Clavidor Verdejo Rueda ($15) is a classic Verdejo with aromas of melon and tropical fruits. On the palate, the wine is fleshy with zesty citrus flavors and finishes with lingering minerality.
If you like Sauvignon Blanc, and you like Pinot Grigio, you will love Verdejo, which can be enjoyed with a range of dishes, from oysters to pad thai.