It is with great pleasure that I bring you Sobremesa In Spain's first wine recommendation! This Wednesday, or Hump Day, feast your eyes and hopefully your palate on this inspiring white wine from La Seca, Valladolid, Spain in the community of Castilla y León (Castile and León in English), which holds the Domination of Origin - or DO - of Rueda. The kind and knowledgeable winemakers and marketers of the brand Belondrade sent me a magnum (1.5L) bottle to enjoy with friends and family for my participation in the photo contest of one of their premier wines, Quinta Apolonia. I feel very lucky because it was one of 300 magnum bottles produced in 2010.
This particular wine is 100% of the grape varietal Verdejo, although interesting to note that 30% of its structure comes from the cellar's premium batch and signature wine Belondrade y Lurton - fermented and aged in French oak barrels for three months - and the other 70% from the property's youngest vines which are fermented slowly in stainless steel tanks. The final product is a unique blend of two different wines of the same grape; hay like in color, it is light and crisp on the tongue with notes of stone and citric fruits and an ever so slight acidity, while leaving behind long-lasting aromas.
As the weather changes around the peninsula, a bottle of Quinta Apolonia provides a perfect spring pairing. In Málaga surrounded by friends and family, we allowed ourselves to fall victim to the easy drinking speed of this Belondrade and sat well into our "sobremesa" chatting and admiring how lovely the wine went down with our Andalusian supper of gazpachuelo, boquerones and salmonetes (fried white anchovies and red mullet).
Additionally, it's not hard to grow a soft spot for this company, because like me its founder Didier Belondrade is a foreigner (Frenchman) who arrived in Spain and fell in love with the diversity and abundance of this land.
Passing through the vast and open plains of Castilla y León, it would behoove one to stop by the bodega (winery) for a visit. The temperatures can be extreme, but the peace and curiosity of sitting almost alone among the vines and the never ending horizon will be worth the detour. Besides which the architect Vicent Dufos du Rau has left behind quite a unique and modern masterpiece in the construction of the building and cellar.
Bodega Belondrade y Lurtón: