In the 1980s the Spanish wine industry went through a revolution in modernising wine making techniques, introducing quality standards and perfecting which grapes grow best in their soil. Rueda is one of the most successful examples of this revolution.
Prior to this time many Bodegas in the Rueda region acted as co operatives. Local farmers and families would bring their grape harvests to the bodega to be mixed together and made into a local village wine. Back then the main grape variety was Palomino, which these days is known mainly for its use in sherry.
This wine, from the Bodega Cuatro Rayas tasting at vinopremier.com, is a homage to the old system. Made from a blend of Palomino and Verdejo grapes, to a recipe that was one of the most popular back in the old days, it uses the Solera process which combines wines of different maturities, so a bit of a mixed vintage.
It has an amber colour and a very strong scent of petrol tones and overripe fruit. Unfortunately it tasted a bit like what I imagine petrol to taste like but did have a fruity finish. I can’t really say anymore because I hated it and was unable to drink it even for this blog.
It reminded me of some of the local wines you used to get in the Malaga hills back in the early 80’s. Strong, dry sherry knock offs with none of the elegance off the genuine Jerez wines or Malaga dulces, rather enough acid to strip your stomach lining (though this particular wine is made using the solera process same as sherry and in the interest of full disclosure I should probably confess that I’m not a fan of Sherry).
History and tradition are all very well, but there is a reason why Spain’s wine industry needed to change. ‘Viva la Revolución’ I say.
|Name:||61 Dorado Vino Generoso|
|Grapes||Palomino and Verdejo|
|Winery:||Bodegas Cuatro Rayas|
|Quality Classification:||Denominacion de Origin|