Easter has come to an end and Spring is knocking on the door with a warm sun that appeared a few days ago and seems to be willing to stay (for a few more days at least). A great way to end this past winter season (2009-2010) which has been long, dark, raining, snowing and somewhat boring due to an uncertain economy and a lingering financial crisis.
However, and fortunately, we still have some wine to drink to put a smile back on our face and enhance our mood, gather friends and family and share good moments. Moreover, the sun has finally arrived to warm up our parties, lunch and dinner, weekdays and weekends. Therefore it is time again to go out, forget about winter cloths and gray weather. Time to discover new, fresh and juicy wines, appreciate longer days and embrace the boost of energy that always accompany Spring sun.
Temperatures are rising. Trees are flowering and gardens are awaking with timid flowers and green patch of grass and herbs. Nature once again is responding to its natural living circle. As a result, mankind is more responsive and aware; humans are less morose and stern, they feel better and more inclined in many ways.
Today is a day like this, sunny, warm and outgoing. It feels like drinking a bright white wine with a light chicken or crab salad with tomatoes, avocados, and cucumber for the lunch, seated at one of those outside café’s terraces in the west or the east village downtown or even in Brooklyn Heights.
It sounds nice to once again take the time to enjoy outside activities and long lunches and dinners, and make time for important things in life: food, drink, family and friends … (happy sigh...).
Hey!?!... but who really has time for this kind of pleasurable moments in New York.
I’m not downtown or even eating a salad at a local “Brasserie”or Café…(sigh...back to reality); I’m just imagining it, because I’m stock at home today for diverse reasons, yet the good thing is that I’m drinking a very simple, crisp white from Spain, a blend of Viura and Sauvignon Blanc from “La Tierra de Castilla y León”.
Very consistent vintage after vintage, this little Spanish white wine, called “Pucela” (or “Virgin” in English) has proved to be one of our most reliable less expensive white wines that we have on the store’s shelves, along with some of the delightful Vinho Verde wines from Portugal.
Vinos de la Tierra de Castilla y León Spain
“Pucela” is produced and bottled by “Hijos de Alberto Gutierrez S.A.”, a Spanish winery located in a little village about 30 kms southwest of Valladolid, in the northern part of the Rueda D.O. (“Denominación de Origen”, the Spanish name equivalent of the French AOC, or literally “Designation of Origin” in English).
At the crossroads of Medina del Campo, Tordesillas and Olmedo, and on the so-called Isabel la Católica’s route, the beautiful Castilian town of Serrada homes the centennial winery of “Hijos de Alberto Gutiérrez”.
The winery was built at the end of the 17th century on the grounds of a former Country House. Dug in the subsoil of Serrada, a complex labyrinth of galleries with brick vaults extending over a kilometer now encompasses the oak barrels to age mostly red wines.
In 1697, the property belonged to monks of the Dominican Order who were already aiming to produce high quality wines. Over time, at the beginning of the 19th century, and as a result of the process of privatization of Church property, this winery passed into private hands. In 1949, the property, acquired by Alberto Gutierrez, together with his sons (hence “Hijos”), Dalmacio, José and Alberto, was established as a family business.
Since 1990, Hijos de Alberto Gutiérrez produces white, rosé and red wines in the Rueda DO, but grow a wide variety of wines within the designation of “Vinos de la Tierra de Castilla y León”.
Today, the winery, which is better known as “de Alberto”, corresponds to one of the largest producers in the area, with a huge volume of storage and state-of-the-art technology and equipment to produce a wide array of wines of great quality and focus, at very attractive prices.
2008 Hijos de Alberto Gutiérrez S.A. “Pucela” white wine Vinos de la Tierra de Castilla y León Spain
Imported/distributed by Monsieur Touton in NYC
Suggested retail price $7-$9
Made from 50% Viura and 50% Sauvignon Blanc harvested in vineyards located at about 500-700 meters above sea level along the southern banks of the Río Duero (the Duero River, also known as Douro in Portugal), the wine was fermented and rested in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks before bottling.
A real steal at this price, the resulting 2008 “Pucela” is light, fresh, focus, crisp and zesty with full flavor, enhancing acidity and mineral, delicate texture and lingering finish. Very versatile and easy going, not so complex yet very interesting and enjoyable, it will great as an aperitif with appetizers and seafood, but could equally complement more complex dishes based with fish or poultry. A nice surprise that won’t hurt your wallet so much!
LeDom du Vin
Info partly taken from the winery website at www.dealberto.com
Step into the Green! Drink more Biodynamic and Organic wines (and food) from sustainable culture and respect the environment! Support the right causes for the Planet and all the people suffering all around the globe!