The wine region of Rueda is located south and west respectively of
the famous and historically fecund cities of Valledolid
Rueda lies on a limestone plateau, to the south west of the red wine
powerhouse DO of Ribera del Duero,
producing wines more stylistically akin to its neighbours in Galicia rather than Toro, that is to say more
inclined to white and aromatic styles rather than the red and
weighty, Rueda has had a chequered history, vinously speaking.
Its tendency in the early days, and by early days we can go back to
Medieval times, was to produce fortified wines, made with Palomino, in other words
to imitate sherry , but not necessarily
the quality or the success of sherry. And when sherry fell into its current,
completely unjustifiable parlous state, commercially speaking, Rueda decided
that the time was ripe for re-invention.
Its indigenous grape, the charismatic but sometimes temperamental Verdejo, is prone to
oxidation and a lack of freshness, unless made in a thoroughly modern fashion,
in inert conditions. When made thus, the wines can be completely charming,
combining pleasing aromatics, citric and grapefruit notes, and a concentration
and viscosity, energy and length. Sometimes it is combined with Macabeo
and even Sauvignon
Blanc, the former to lend weight, the latter aromas. Ultimately,
however, it stands up in its own right and has been entirely responsible for
the current re-appraisal of this once moribund region.