David Lawrason’s Weekly Wine Pick: a Spanish white for sauvignon blanc lovers
Mania 2011 Verdejo
$13.95 | Rueda, Spain | 89 points
The small, sleepy town of Rueda lies in the arid highlands northeast of Madrid. Like the equally somnolent Chablis in France, Rueda sits on chalky soil, which makes for terrific white wines. But Chablis was discovered centuries ago, and Rueda only recently—resulting in a land rush and several new ultra-modern boutique wineries. This bottle from Bodegas Félix Lorenzo Cachazo, a family that helped create the Rueda appellation, embodies what the excitement is all about. It’s a great buy at $14.
The taste: This bright young verdejo (the local grape variety) has a terrific, exotic nose of sub-tropical passion fruit, mandarin, spearmint and grapefruit. It’s mid-weight, polished and fresh, and becomes rather warm and bitter on the finish, with very good length.
How to drink it: If you normally crack open a well-chilled sauvignon blanc as a starter while making dinner, or you are cooking Asian seafood or greens, give this a try. Chill it well and keep the bottle chilled between servings. It will stay fresh for a couple of years, but this is not a wine to buy in quantity and age.