(2022) 100% Verdejo from a family producer, the vineyards at 700-metres altitude. Typical Elderflower and gooseberry aromas, for me personally just a little too far down the 'sweaty' thiol road, but there is plenty of fruit there too. On the palate excellent juiciness with nectarine and peach juice, but a nice raft of lemon-fresh acidity that sweeps through. I very much liked this in the end.
(2019) I've often found the Verdjo wines from the Rueda region in northern Spain to be a bit too imitatative of New World Sauvignon Blanc, but here Ramón Bilbao is trying to do something different with the grape and the region. Made from the estate's oldest vines, it was fermented in concrete 'tulip-shaped' vats then aged in French and Hungarian oak, with regular batonnage. That has resulted in an obvious creaminess on the nose (unexpected in Rueda Verdejo), subtle nut and honey notes to tropical fruit with a more subdued elderflower and passion fruit character. In the mouth the sweet ripeness of the fruit is the first impression, but that nutty and creamy underpinning of both flavour and texture adds an extra layer. Acidity is well-judged, a gentle lime and red apple presence to extend the finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) An organically certified wine from Rueda, not too far from Ribera del Duero in northern Spain, fermented with indigenous yeasts. That gives it a bit of extra complexity compared to many commercial examples of Verdejo, the nose showing not just the pungent, elderflower and gooseberry punch of the grape, but a little chalky, lightly earthy, herbaceous blackcurrant leaf. The full-fruited, exotic fruit-tinged palate has a lightly creatmy texture, and plenty of zingy acidity to offset. Easy to drink on its own, great with fish and with grilled goat's cheese.
(2018) Made in stainless steel tanks and 100% Verdejo, this is the pungent, straightforward, Sauvignon Blanc-like face of Verdejo, from vineyards planted in 1998. Elderflower and passion fruit on the nose leads on to quite a full, texturally rich palate, where some creaminess has been formed by lees ageing, the fruit spectrum from tropical to a lime-like, slightly waxy finish that is citrussy and clean with plenty of ripe fruit sweetness.
(2018) A year older than the straight Rueda Blanco, but the Collection cuvée is also fermented in new French oak barrels rather than steel, so is quite a different prospect. Creamy, mealy on the nose, there's a touch of chalky quality and elderflower pungency has been tamed to good effect, just a touch of gooseberry and a hint of more tropical lychee against the barrel-influenced creaminess. In the mouth it has an almost Chablis-like firmness and minerality at first, though the fruit character of the Verdejo does come through to add more zing and vivacious punch, into a long, firm finish.
(2017) I had feared this would be just another Sauvignon lookalike from Rueda in the north of Spain, which has produced a torrent of elderflower-scented wines recently from the Verdejo grape. But in fact it is a more serious example in some ways, still with some herbaceous nuances, but more about fruit concentration with a firm yellow plum and apple fruitiness, a touch of oatmeal, and then just a glimpse of more exotic lychee and guave before the dry, lemon and grapefruit acidity kicks in.
(2014) Like many Ribera del Duero producers, Comenge sources grapes from nearby Rueda so that it can have a quality white wine in its portfolio. 2013 was "Not a great year, with very high yields." according to winemaker Raphael. Nice herbal character, a touch of elderflower, with juicy pear fruit and nicely perfumed. Cool, refreshing, a nice balance though not a huge amount of fruit concentration - perhaps that does suggest a touch of dilution, but very nicely done, fresh and pleasing to drink.
(2013) Rueda is the source of much inexpensive, Sauvignon Blanc-lookalike wine, but there are some fascinating and more serious examples too. This unoaked example from old busg vines planted at 800 metres has requisite passionfruit and elderflower intensity and pungency, but brims with a distinctive orange filled palate, the grapefruit juiciness of the acidity beautifully managed - not pithy, just fresh, juicy and vital.
(2013) >From Rueda, this is vibrantly gooseberry and elderflower bright, with a really vivacious punch. On the palate it has that ripe, juicy passionfruit appeal, but I also like the crispness, tang and dryness of the finish.
(2012) A lot of the Verdejo you'll find on supermarket shelves is being made by Norrel Robertson in Castilla y Leon and Rueda in the north of Spain. This in many ways is typical, with its overtly passionfruity and elderflower aromas, which stop nicely short of becoming 'sweaty', as some lime-like precision comes through. On the palate it is dry and bursting with flavour, all centred around cool apple fruit, any threat of moving into sweeter, more exotic territory quickly checked by a massively dry, pithy lemon core of acidity.