Jose Peñín, founder of Spain’s highly regarded Peñin Guide and one of the most prolific wine writers in the Spanish-speaking world has just published an article highlighting six wines that stood out in 2022 (you’ll need to sign up to read).
And it’s great to see that one of the six wines mentioned comes from our good friends at Bodegas Vidal Soblechero. José picks out their Amarre Salvaje 2014 Blanco as one of his standout bottles and heaps plenty of praise on it:
“I was expecting a sober Verdejo - very Castilian - and I find a rarity where the vine opens up to earthy and wild flavours with great weight on the palate. Amarre Salvaje exudes a harmony of earthy notes, ripe white fruit, wild dried herbs, and a touch of evolution.”
We’re really chuffed for the vineyard. We’ve known brother and sister, Vidal and Alicia, for some time and are real fans of what they are doing up in Rueda. So for them to be getting such a great write-up from one of Spain’s most respected wine critics is really great to see.
Vidal and Alicia founded the small winery in the 1990s. It’s built on the legacy handed down by their father, Claudio, and by his parents before him, who for forty years tended the family’s 42 hectares of vineyard with the utmost care.
They take a very organic approach to their winemaking. Whether it’s avoiding phytosanitary products in the vineyard, using hawks as a form of pest control (more on that in another article), or fermenting with natural yeasts, everything the family do is based on traditional, natural techniques and minimum intervention.
And they adapt their winemaking approach according to the soils their vines are grown in. And with soils ranging from limestone, sandy, clay to river stones, they have plenty of options to work with.
We don’t stock Amarre Salvaje, but we do have Vidal Soblechero’s excellent Clavidor Cepas Viejas on our list. It's amazing value for a wine that is packed with personality and comes from a vineyard with such illustrious fans as José Peñin.
Another wine on our list that the critics love is Las Tinadas from Bodegas Verum in La Mancha. One of the wine world’s best-loved critics, Jancis Robinson put the wine on her list of favourite whites of 2022, highlighting its “really intense fruit” and “richness but no heaviness”.
As well as the winery’s organic approach, youngest son and head winemaker at Verum, Elias López Montero, puts a big focus on showcasing the best each grape variety has to offer. This is especially true in the case of Las Tinadas.
Made from Airén, a white variety that traditionally has been slightly dismissed as a rather neutral grape in terms of flavour, Elias has turned that neutrality to his advantage. Through a strict process of manual harvest and fruit selection, followed by fermentation with carefully selected natural yeasts and rounding off with four months ageing in 4,500 litre clay tinajas (amphorae), Elias has created a wine with all the intensity of fruit and mineral richness that a traditional winemaking region like La Mancha is capable of.
We only have a limited number of bottles of Las Tinadas available. So if you’re keen to try one of Jancis Robinson’s favourite whites, we suggest you snap it up while stocks last.