50% Verdejo, 30% Viura, 20% Sauvignon Blanc
The main characteristic of Verdejo is its freshness and acidity. It therefore makes sense that the majority of Verdejo based wines never see exposure to oak, so as not to detract from the natural flavor of the grape. The Las Brisas was therefore fermented and aged in all stainless steel.
Viura (otherwise known as Macabeo) is similar in style to Verdejo in that it’s fresh and fruity. It’s made into a variety of wines ranging from 100% of the grape, right the way through to being blended into sparkling Cava wines.
If you like New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs but are looking for something new, check out the Las Brisas (and indeed other Spanish Verdejo based wines). Very similar flavor profile.
It’s a shame that wines like this often get missed by the consumer; but to be honest who can blame them? The labeling and marketing behind such wines still leaves a little to be desired. Flip over the Las Brisas to the back label and sure you find a few tasting notes; but to me there’s a problem when the word count on the government warning and importer information exceeds the word count on the wine info!
In order to preserve their freshness, Verdejo grapes are often harvested at night when the temperatures are cooler.
Located just North West of Madrid, wine has been produced in the Rueda region since the 11 h century.
Marques de Riscal (you probably know their Rioja, it’s the bottle in the wire cage) can be attributed with putting Rueda on the map. They entered the region in the early 70’s, and brought with them new winemaking practices as well as (apparently) the Sauvignon Blanc grape, introducing it to the land for the first time.
Rueda can still be viewed as very much an up-and-coming wine region for noteworthy whites, and I think it has a lot of potential. As I mentioned previously, wineries in these types of obscure regions which feature “off the beaten path” varietals need to step up their marketing to better help the average drinker be better informed i.e. Facebook, Twitter and user-friendly websites. The reason I didn’t post more info on the background behind the Las Brisas was that I couldn’t find any info online!
The one thing that whites from Rueda do have on their side is that they are usually inexpensive! This is a definite plus when consumers are choosing a wine they know little about.
Rueda could have quite easily taken the easy way out and planted Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, grapes with plenty of New World appeal. But where’s the fun in that!?!? So big-up to them for sticking to their guns!
Rules of the Rueda appellation require the whites to be at least 50% Verdejo, with the remainder Sauvignon Blanc or Viura. In order to be classified as Rueda Superior, the wines must contain at least 85% Verdejo.
Beautiful nose showing a perfume of bright fruits flavors, fresh cut grass and flowers.
Light in body, the Las Brisas drinks very easily! Ultra crisp and refreshing, the wine shows ripe and fresh peach and apricot, with lemon and lime notes. Chalky minerality with bracing acidity. Enjoy now, ideally whilst sat on your patio watching the world go by.
Summer is approaching us quickly, and the Las Brisas is a quintessential summer wine!
When pairing Verdejo, think about salads, fresh fish / seafood (such as scallops or salmon), spicy dishes (due to the restrained alcohol level), lemon chicken, goat cheese, fresh fruits, and dishes with prominent herbs such as cilantro.