Villacezan Albarin 2010

With one eye ever fixed on the past and the other looking ahead to the future, brothers Gabriel and Carlos Garcia-Luengos Garcia along with their sister Ofelia grabbed the reins of their family bodega in the mid 90’s and have taken a wine making tradition dating back to the mid 19th century and steered it lovingly into the modern age. Their fondness for the native Prieto Picudo varietal has driven this new generation to focus on a simple, yet passionate goal…to resurrect and preserve the grape and with it make distinctive, world-class wines that won’t drain your wallet. (More on Prieto Picudeo)

The farm and 150 acres of vineyards are located in the municipality of Gordoncillo on the southern León plain, where the continental climate provides cool winters, hot, dry summers, and wide temperature swings between day and night help to ripen and concentrate the fruit. In the vineyards fastidious attention is paid to the vines with much energy devoted to proper pruning and crop thinning. All grapes are harvested by hand and delivered in small (16kg) boxes to the bodega, where hand sorting, destemming and temperature controlled fermentations are standard.

Formerly working under the Vino de la Tierra classification, Villacezán’s wines are now produced under the newly formed D.O. Vino Tierra de León. This new D.O. was created primarily to recognize the potential of Prieto Picudo and foster the production of quality wines made from the varietal. Villacezán has been an outspoken proponent of the D.O. from it’s beginning and continues to work closely with the Council in clone development and research.

Produced from the Verdejo grape, grown in the family vineyards at Dehesa de Villacezán, this fresh, clean wine was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and shows a brilliant, pale-yellow color with a slight greenish glitter. Fresh & intense fruit and floral aromas lead to flavors of green apple, honey and anise.

With a silky feel in the mouth, well-balanced acidity and a long finish, Elverite is the ideal accompaniment to many dishes (including fish, shellfish, and chicken) and is also perfect on its own.

Reaching it’s fullest potential in the Castile-León region, which also includes D.O. Rueda, Verdejo seems poised to become Spain’s  second great white (following on the heals of Galicia’s Albariño.) When grown in the right locations, under the proper conditions,  verdejo possesses ample fruit, acidity, and glycerin to provide some exciting drinking. Presoaking prior to fermentation, as is practiced  with Elverite, also adds to wine’s complexity. Though Elverite sees no oak (and we prefer it that way), verdejo’s structure and complexity can handle judicious use of wood and also exhibits some potential for short-term aging, picking up nutty and honeyed notes after a few years in bottle.

Tasting Date: January 2012
Vintage: 2010
Varietal: Albarin
Country: Spain
Retail Price on Tasting Date: $14.99

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