Grapevine Archive for Rueda

Part of my recent trip to Spain with buyer Pierre Mansour was to blend the new vintage of the Rueda white Finca Lallana (formerly known as Las Olas), and which is now available for £7.75.

I was extremely excited about witnessing the birth of a wine. Our hosts and providers were Bodegas Menade, who also produced an artisanal beer named La Burra that some members may remember. The bodega is run by the Sanz family: vineyard management overseen by Marco, his sister Alejandra deals with communications and sales and the pioneering Ricardo is responsible for winemaking.

The stunning flat vineyards in which the fruit for Finca Lallana is grownThe stunning flat vineyards in which the fruit for Finca Lallana is grown

Ricardo’s enthusiasm was infectious as he told us of the winery’s plans. Plantings have increased from 2000 to 3500 but they are producing fewer bunches per plant – typically half of other producers – to increase quality of fruit.

Working with nature and the environment is very much the strategy, promoting biodiversity in a simple way by having beehives in the vineyard and insect hotels. Even the office is CO2 neutral. The bodega first went organic in 2008. The winery is state of the art; sulphur use is minimised by using inert gas to blanket newly picked grapes to preserve freshness and naturally occurring yeasts are encouraged.

Time to blend! Society buyer Pierre Mansour (left) makes his notesTime to blend! Society buyer Pierre Mansour (left) makes his notes
We were treated to tank sample upon tank sample, all which were to me were all very agreeable. Our buyer Pierre was more measured in his feedback, with a very well-defined idea of what he wanted. One unfortunate sample drew the response ‘this is not Wine Society.’

It was fascinating to see what Pierre was trying to achieve as tank samples were fused together, trying to increase aromatics with an addition here or attempting to reduce acidity there by an omission or fattening the blend by increasing the amount of another sample. The trick was trying to predict how the wine would taste when released after a short period in bottle.

The result is delicious: the perfect way to welcome springtime. It’s an aromatic and refreshing white with similarities to sauvignon blanc, but with the verdejo adding a peachy dimension that is particularly appealing.

Conrad Braganza
The Cellar Showroom

Categories : Spain
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