Blog Category: Featured

Rueda Awakening

By Pablo Aguero,

The quality white wines from the Spanish region of Rueda are ready to break out of the domestic market, as Patrick Schmitt MW discussed at a recent masterclass in London. READ MORE

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2019 Rueda Harvest Vintage Updates

By Pablo Aguero,


  • The excellent health of the grape and low rainfall during the harvest point to high-quality wines.

  • D.O. Rueda concluded the grape harvest with a total of 113,720,966 kilos of grape eligible for reception within the Designation of Origin. Of those, 99.13% are white grape. The native Verdejo variety accounted for 88.49% of the entire production, at 100,638,814 kilos.


The grape harvest began on August 27th with the Sauvignon Blanc variety, whose growing cycle is shorter than other varieties, and ripens earlier. On September 3rd, the harvesting of the Verdejo variety began, which was executed in accordance with ripeness indicators from each vineyard plot, seeking the best balance between strength and acidity.

“Despite the fact that this year there was a decrease in the harvest of 10% with respect to the previous campaign, we are very satisfied because this harvest features excellent grape health. There were no recorded phytosanitary problems with the vines, and thanks to the significant difference in temperature between day and night, the conditions in which the grapes were received by the wineries were optimum,” said Jesús Díez de Íscar, technical director of D.O. Rueda.

This year the grape harvest for D.O. Rueda had 1,581 grape producers and 67 wineries registered. In total, the registered area covered 18,020.59 hectares; an increase on 1,662.48 hectares with respect to last year. Of those, 97.57% (17,582.88 hectares) were white varieties, and of those, 87.71% were Verdejo.

“Thanks to the perfect health in which the grape has been harvested, balanced, high-quality wines are predicted for this 2019 harvest. When they come to market in a few months, we hope to surprise the consumer with the various products created from our native grape, the Verdejo. It is a variety which stands out for its versatility and allows our wineries and growers to opt for innovation, without losing support for traditional ways of working,” stated Carmen San Martín, president of D.O. Rueda.

Source: Regulatory Board of D.O. Rueda 983 868 248

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Ribera and Rueda Make Their Mark on 2017 Best Lists

By Pablo Aguero,

As the calendar year creeps towards an end, there are a few guarantees: Holiday fever sinks in, there are plenty of parties, and year-end wine lists hit the shelves (or, more likely, your inbox).

Like clockwork, the 2017 lists have arrived, and just like in past years, Ribera del Duero and Rueda have earned some love from various wine publications and critics. Just like we were doing a tasting, let’s start with white, shall we?

Earning a staggering 96 points and landing at #19 on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines of 2017, the Valderiz 2014 Juegabolos won the adoration of the magazine’s critics thanks to: “Toasty aromas suggest maple, along with a note of sawdust to accompany earthy berry scents. A rich, pure palate is intense but shows balance and comportment. Blackberry, cassis, peppery spice and integrated oak flavors are detailed, with a smooth finish. Drink this full-bodied wonder through 2028.”

Wine Enthusiast’s Best Buys of 2017 list is a must-read for any wine lover looking to find the needle in the ever-important QPR — quality to price ratio — haystack. Sure, you can drop $200 on a bottle and have it drink beautifully, but what about finding a $13 gem that you can drink guilt-free any night of the week? According to Wine Enthusiast’s list, the 12 Linajes 2015 Verdejo is just that, landing at number 83 on the 2017 list because, as they say: “This Verdejo hits the sweet spot, with a crisp nose focused on green-apple aromas. The palate has a free-flowing feel and well-presented flavors of apple, peach and melon. An easy-fading finish ends this well.”

Now, on to the reds. Emilio Moro has both pedigree as well as a reputation for quality within Ribera del Duero, which is why their 2015 Tempranillo finds itself at #59 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2017 list. Critic Tom Matthews says in his tasting notes: “Black cherry, red plum and currant flavors are fresh and lively in this firm red, backed by dark chocolate, licorice and toasty notes. Light, firm tannins and citrusy acidity keep this focused. Drink now through 2023.”

Meanwhile, James Suckling fell head over heels for two of the most legendary wines in Ribera del Duero, as the Dominio de Pingus2014 and Vega Sicilia Unico 2006 both made his Best Wines of 2017 list. If you’re looking for a year-end splurge and can get your hands on a bottle of either of those, consider your year made.

Speaking of Vega Sicilia, their 2002 Unico Reserva Especial found its way on wine-rating app Vivino’s 2018 Wine Style Awards compilation, averaging 4.7 out of 5 stars for the community of wine lovers. Also on the list is Aalto PS 2006, which fared nearly as well with a 4.6 rating. In order for wines to make Vivino’s list, they “had to have a minimum of 50 ratings given during the past 12 months” … and then wine democracy spoke for itself.

Cheers to 2017, and here’s looking to all of the wines ahead in 2018!

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