I had two Riscal Ruedas recently: the 2004 showed lots of apples with orange and a note of lime leaf; it was a barely warm bowl of apples. The mouth was apple laden as well, with notes of orange and melon, soft and creamy, simple but very pretty.
I found a bottle of 2002 Riscal as well. And it wasn’t aging particularly well. Well, I take that back. It was really pretty, with some barrel hints leading to truffle and mushrooms notes. But it was already slipping, and I’d like to think that Verdejo has better longevity than that.
Yllera Vina Cantosan 2004 Rueda had a very bright and pretty lime laden nose. There were complexing notes of orange, lemon, melon, white pepper and red apple. The mouth was more of the same, good and classic Verdejo (apple, melon, and orange) with some white pepper and basil mint hints at the end.
Marqués de Riscal virtually invented modern Rueda. It was a place of ancient styled dessert wines, and Riscal rescued theVerdejo grape from its interminable grave. Unfortunately, at least to my way of thinking, Riscal noted a similarity to Sauvignon Blanc, or so the story goes, and planted that as well. Sauvignon Blanc features in a number of Ruedas, and I love the Verdejo grape so much that I regret Sauvignon Blanc’s annoyingly vocal presence.
One of my favorite unheralded grapes on the planet is the white grape of Spain’s Rueda area, just abutting the region of sexy, showy Tempranillo, Toro. Aura Verdejo 2003 has a very full nose of orange, baked red apple, melon and baked lemons; the mouth continues the theme with melon, lemon, cinnamon, baked and green apples and a hint of white pepper. Friendly and layered and happy with rich dishes.