It's still hot - I looked up at the trusty car temperature gage at 6:15pm yesterday 95 degrees shouted back at me! Don't let the 4am cool breeze fool you into breaking out the heavy red wine yet! This is the crisp, refreshing and floral bottle of Spanish white wine that will be uncorked over the next few days at my house in HOT Austin, Texas.
Sitios de Bodega Con Class 2007
The Con Class is a blend of 80% Verdejo, 10% Viura, 10% Sauvignon Blanc - such a delicious combination!
A little background: For six generations, the Sanz family has been making wines in Rueda. In 2005, Ricardo Sanz created started producing his wines under the new Sitios de Bodega label in Rueda. The project distinguishes his modern approach from that of his father, who still produces wines under different labels.
Rueda is located in northwestern Spain - just south of the River Duero and not far from the Portuguese border. Scorched bare by retreating Moors in the tenth century, the region lay fallow for generations. During this period, a wild grape, Verdejo, appeared throughout the district. As Rueda was resettled in the 11th century, the grape was gradually domesticated throughout the district.
In the 1970's, Marques de Riscal initiated a renaissance in Rueda winemaking. Riscal recognized that modern winemaking equipment could produce a fresh and delicious wine from Verdejo, a revelation, since the grape oxidizes very rapidly to produce sherry-like aromas. In addition, the estate introduced other varieties like Viura and Sauvignon Blanc that flourish in Rueda's chalky soils. The resulting wines were completely different from what Spain was used to drinking - totally unlike the heavy and /or oxidized whites the country had produced for generations. To capture the essence of this easily oxidized grape, Ricardo began night-harvesting, putting the delicate fruit into small plastic boxes. Immediately after destemming, the grapes are hit with inert gas (usually nitrogen) to protect them from oxidation. Skin contact is kept to a minimum and overseen carefully. The must settles at a very low temperature (14 degrees C), and the very clean must then ferments for 25 to 30 days, after which Ricardo will stir the fine lees periodically. Bottling takes place after a very light filtration.
I think this is Ricardo's best Con Class yet! Around $10 at Whole Foods in Texas. Cheers - Ali