I love releasing a new wine to the public, after all the joy of wine is being able to share it with people. Tomorrow marks the official release of our new 2010 Verdejo, coinciding with Semana Santa [or holy week in Spain]. Normally found in the Rueda region of Spain, Verdejo has done surprisingly well in the climate of Virginia, but this grape has not always been a favorite at Keswick Vineyards.
Up until the 2006 harvest, the fruit was sold as we did not believe it made wines of a superior quality, but as luck would have it, the Verdejo survived a horrendous frost and since the Viognier was hardest hit, we decided to keep the fruit to make wine as we knew we would be short.
The juice reminded me a lot of Sauvignon Blanc, lots of acid, lower sugar levels and greener flavors of melon, pear and apple. And that is how I decided to make it: cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks, preserving the natural acidity by inhibiting secondary fermentation and ensuring the wine is bone dry. We have played around with various percentages of Viognier to add some brightness in terms of aroma but resisted that temptation in 2010 and only blended 3% of Viognier into the final blend.
This wine has acid as sharp as a razor blade and flavors greener than Dublin on St Patrick’s Day. Apples and grapefruit flavors are dominant with underlying minerality creating a wine that is a perfect accompaniment to shellfish and a variety of salads, lthough quite enjoyable on its own in the sun. With only 221 cases made, this wine promises to sell out quickly so come on by and get it while you can!
I have to give a special mention to Sandy Dowling [our book keeper] who has long preached the quality of our Verdejo. She must know what she is talking about as the 2010 Verdejo has just been awarded a platinum medal at the San Diego International Wine Competition [given to less than 4% of the total wines entered].
As a side note, I did want to point out subtle changes we have made to our packaging. The 2010 Verdejo is bottled with what will be our new label and the bottle we are using is 200 grams lighter than the previous bottles which should minimize our carbon footprint.
Other than that, the wine is hopefully everything you have come to expect from our Verdejo, a great bottle of wine that is perfect for this time of year.
I hope you enjoy drinking it as much as I enjoyed making it