Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

MWG October 17th tasting (2/5): The naked and the clad

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Rueda 2012, Bodega de Los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal ($14.35, 10270725)
100% Verdejo. Destemmed, cold-soaked on the skins and clarified through settling and fining, then fermented at around 14ºC for 20 days. After a short stay in barrels, the wine is bottled, usually in the winter that follows the harvest. Screwcapped. 13% ABV.
White grapefruit, cat pee, granite dust and barely audible lychee and dried herb high notes. Light and bright, very dry yet intensely fruity with a faint nut skin-like bitterness. Not deep but quite long. Yes, it’s a bit faceless. But it’s also clean, fresh and refreshing. As the French say, correct, especially at the price. (Buy again? Sure though not in preference to Ijalba’s similarly priced Genoli, which is made from organically farmed Viura grapes.)

Rueda 2008, Naiades, Bodegas Naia ($29.95, 11962707)
100% Verdejo from old vines, some of them centenarians. Manually harvested. Barrel-fermented then transferred to new French oak barrels for eight months’ maturation. Attractive label. Ridiculously heavy bottle. 13.5% ABV. One of the wines in the Cellier New Arrivals release.
Fragrant bouquet of tropical fruit, vanilla and coconut with background minerals and char. While you could say the dense fruit is balanced by the grape’s naturally high acidity, to my palate the wine is sweet and cloying. And if the oak doesn’t exactly mask the fruit, it certainly envelops it. Broad and long, this is far closer to a buttery New World Chardonnay – albeit one with some minerals and muscle tone – than to traditional Ruedas like the Marqués de Riscal or, for that matter, Naia’s own eponymous cuvée. Not at all my style though some people will love it. (Buy again? Nope.)

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Written by carswell

October 24, 2013 at 13:16

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