Sunday, May 16, 2010

Avelino Vegas Arco de la Vega Verdejo Viura 2008


A wrought iron loveseat has been moved to a higher position in the backyard and stripped of its filthy, brick-colored cushions.  The frame actually looks great, and even better the flowers that now sit in their pots upon the iron structure, committing their riot of color.

In the foreground, an interesting, old, weathered table sits with a couple of cafe chairs bookending it.  When the eyes drift to the background, the two unopened bags of soil supplements make a statement about the gardening work yet to be done.  The yard is so much lovelier now than when we started, and yet so much lies ahead.  I can't wait to see the corn planted off to the left side of the property, twelve stalks bursting with yellow ears.

And when the work is done for the day, and when the deck and its comfy chairs beckon, there will be wine.

I always seem to wax poetic - at least that's what I call it - when a Spanish wine is opened.  I think that may be because it was actually a tasting of Spanish wines that made a wine geek out of me.  An importer had brought some Spanish wines and some pictures of Spanish vineyards.  Looking at the scrub-brush grapevines growing in the Spanish desert, and juxtaposing those images against the magnificent wines made from them, I was hooked.  I felt I had some true insight into what it is that makes a winemaker keep on working. 

Bodegas Avelino Vegas  has a wine called Arco de la Vega, which is a 50/50 blend of Verdejo and Viura from Castilla y Leon.  The alcohol level is at 12% abv, so it wears very well as a hot weather refresher.  A twelve-dollar price tag puts it in the "affordable" column.  So far all systems are "go" for a delightful summer sipper, if it's good.  Let's find out.

The nose is all about the grapefruit. The taste, too, for that matter.  Not any of that Rio Grande Ruby Red fruit with the sweetness that tries to rub out the tartness.  I'm talking about the grapefruit that puckers the mouth to such an extent it seems there might not be any relief from it.  This wine is as fresh and vigorous an expression of Verdejo and Viura as I can remember.  There is some of that "wet stone minerality" to be had, but honestly, its like trying to focus on a dime in the roadway when there's a big rig barreling down upon you.  Peeking out from around the sides of that huge grapefruit explosion is a bit of lemon zest and a nice acidity.  This wine will serve well with light menu fare and stand on it own, too.