Aged, but Crisp Verdejo from the West: Bodegas Vidal Soblechero Pagos de Villavendimia Finca El Alto 2006, Rueda

This time I got a wine for you made by one of my favourite varietals: Verdejo. The Pagos de Villavendimia Finca El Alto 2006 is a highly limited (apparently just 548 bottles. Wow!) in French oak barrels aged (14 months) Verdejo produced by Bodegas Vidal Soblechero in La Seca/Rueda. The approx. 80 year old vines were cultivated on the chalky and loamy soils of Finca El Alto.

The colour of today’s Verdejo seemed to be well aged, but still vital. Here and there some green’ish bright reflexes were assumable. Strangely its nose wasn’t that expressive or complex. I got relatively lean scents of assorted green herbs, some limejuice and fairly strong nut and vanilla aromas. No panic, please! Not an overdose! I was a very gentle, lean and appropriate vanilla impression I might say. So much for its slightly confined nose. Okay, maybe some honey scents popped up some hours later. Its taste had far more facets and complexity. At first I got strong flavours of lime fruit, slightly roasted nuts, light herbs, pepper, petrol’ish aspects (which faded after a few hours), some lemon and quite a lot of vanilla-oak. Plenty of deep mineral’ish aspects, too. Some hours later and on the second day more Provençal herbs and honey evolved within the already mentioned flavour pattern. In a way, it had something of a profoundly mineral, but rather light and lean, maybe even fresh, but again oxidative Chardonnay !?! Just a hint of a slight resemblance, I guess! Well, these lean, crisp, maybe fresh, features in combination with a mildly oxidative style made my day! A wonderfully complex, sometimes challenging, but very contenting combination which convinced me to try a bit more wines of this winery and to give, these sometimes a bit too harshly bashed Rueda wines, every once in a while a try ;-). I guess it will be worth it. One more tip: Give this Verdejo time to open up – even some decant action might work out?!

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