Angel Rodriguez Vidal Martinsancho Verdejo 2005
Other White Blends from Rueda, Spain
The emergence of Rueda as a prestigious white wine region is the story of a unique grape called Verdejo. Although among only a small handful of truly noble Spanish white varieties, it was in danger of extinction by the early 1970's. Angel Rodríguez saved the shy-bearing, thick-skinned Verdejo through loving refusal to uproot his 17th-century vineyard, MartínSancho. For his untiring efforts in favor of reestablishing Verdejo's prominence in its region of origin he was officially honored by King Juan Carlos.
Archetypical of authentic Verdejo
is MartínSancho's refined, creamy bouquet with surprisingly long and complex finish.
Angel Rodriguez Vidal Winery
Martinsancho is Angel Rodriguez' 17th-century vineyard responsible for the preservation of Rueda's indigenous Verdejo grape. Cuttings from here were used in 1976 to establish a 25-acre vineyard planted in the traditional head-pruned fashion and dry-farmed. Low-yield Verdejo apports viscosity and a long finish while retaining a delicate floral nose.
Production of Martinsancho is under 4,000 cases, its informing character obtained both from the Medieval vines and the 25-acre parcel. Harvest is carefully timed and rapidly completed, for consistent maturity and health in even the most difficult years. Archetypical of authentic Verdejo is Martinsancho's refined, creamy bouquet with surprisingly long and complex finish.
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Rueda is located along the banks of the Duero River in Spain’s Castilla y León region, just a 2-hour drive north of Madrid. While winemaking in this area goes back to the 12th century, it was in the 1980s that the region was granted Denominación de Origen (D.O.) status. Today, more than 70 wineries call Rueda home. This national favorite is the top-selling white wine in Spain.
Rueda’s main grape variety, Verdejo, gets it distinct complexity from stressful growing conditions and mineral-rich soil. Think of Verdejo as a fuller-bodied and more aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. A lush and smooth character with perfectly balanced acidity means Rueda wines pair well with seafood, fresh salads and spicy food, but are also great on their own.
The third largest country in production, Spain ranks first in land under vine. Diversity and innovation are the key factors bringing Spain back into the world wine market.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.