Belondrade y Lurton 2012 – Halloween Wine Tasting Notes
‘The Golden Route’
Another opportunity presents itself for us to write some wine tasting notes and investigate deeper into a very promising white wine from Spain- Belondrade y Lurton.
We were particularly delighted as the WineWeaver team are really into the colour orange this Halloween and are thinking a black and orange table topped with our green wine aerator would be the perfect wine accessory to complement the orange label of the 2012 Verdejo. Well, you would hardly expect us to come to the party un-equipped and without the most important of all wine accessories (the wine itself is not a party accessory in our view!)
Fortune smiled upon me and I went to the Berry Bros. & Rudd Spain 2014 ‘The Golden Route’ wine tasting this month where upon I spied the glorious orange label of this fine white wine made by Belondrade y Lurton. Pure, simple and inside it has a fresh, bright white wine. Now I was looking at the 2012 which in my view is not quite ready for drinking just yet, so I suggest you try to find some of the earlier vintages for this year and perhaps secure one or two bottles for your Halloween wine in 2016.
The Belondrade y Lurton is a wine where France meets Spain. The owner is French and the location is the town of La Seca, near Valladolid in Spain. The region is referred to as Rueda and the base geology is limestone. According to Berry Bros. & Rudd, the combination of ‘Belondrade’s enthusiasm for the Verdejo grape’ with the French wine-making tradition of the Lurton’s has resulted in ‘some of the most impressive Rueda wines we have tasted’.
One of the main identifying characteristics of Belondrade y Lurton is the fact that they have some 19 different plots spread over the area. The grapes, which are all Verdejo, are gathered and processed carefully to ensure the grapes from each plot are harvested independently of any other plot belonging to the vineyard. The map below gives you an idea of the distribution and effort which this requires.
Marta Baquerizo Mesonero-Romanos (Technical Director and oenologist at Belondrade) took time to explain to me that each and every barrel is carefully marked and monitored during the wine-making process. So for example, the individual flavours embedded in the grapes on plot 1 with a pebble clay based soil are not merged with the Verdejo grapes grown on plot 2 which has the underlying characteristics absorbed from a sandy soil until the final part of the process when blending takes place.
The vines are generally quite stressed as not only is it relatively high (750m) but there are wide temperature swings from day to night. The local environment plays a part in how the vines are tended so for example, as there is a risk of hailstones and spring frost the vines are pruned relatively long. Average rainfall is recorded as 300-350 mm per year.
Belondrade is a modern vineyard and has worked hard to ensure it conforms to the requirements to ensure it obtains an Organic Certification. Marta also told me there is no malolactic fermentation, which she kindly went on to explain that this means the yeasts required for wine making come entirely from the grapes themselves and this has been working for the full crop since 2010. However, just in case the grapes don’t want to behave one year, the vineyard saves some indigenous yeasts (so we won’t miss out).
Somewhere between 20-30% of the average crop of 80-90,000 bottles is placed in new French oak barrels to mature for 9-12 months with the lees (for added flavours). In addition to the usual bottle size, Belondrade also produce 495 magnums (1.5 litres) and 70-100 double-magnums (for those exceptional occasions like a wedding celebration).
I tasted the 2012 vintage which was bottled in August 2013, (9-10 months in the barrel) and harvested between the 17th September and 4th October 2012. The freshness of the wine was a mark of the acidity and gave a delightful clarity which I would make a contrast to the richness of the cheese in our Halloween Pumpkin soup recipe or a cheese board. There were also hints of the lemon citrus and minerals which would be complementary to the sweetness of the pumpkin.
Professional Wine Tasting Notes
“ BELONDRADE Y LURTON 2012 is subtly smoky with aromas of toasted bread, sunflower seeds and almonds, with hints of complexity and good elegance. The palate reveals a medium-bodied wine with good structure, pungent flavors, very good acidity (especially for a dry, warm and late vintage as 2012), with the telltale bitter finish of the Verdejo. Very recognizable as Verdejo and Rueda, even if its barrel fermented. This is a subtle, elegant Rueda like few others. I’ve seen this wine age well in bottle (especially in large formats, magnum and double magnum), and I have no doubt this should age gracefully. Perhaps it is not comparable because of climatic conditions, but 2007 is drinking beautifully now. Drink now-2019. It has been fine-tuned through the years and with each vintage the oak seems a little better integrated, and the wine reveals more freshness and balance.”
Courtesy of Robert Parker Wine Advocate´s tasting
From our Halloween wine tasting, Belondrade y Lurton is a young wine as yet and should benefit from the extra lift given by the aeration process when using the WineWeaver. Just in case you missed it have you seen our new Halloween recipe and a blood curdling eye popping drink?
Happy Halloween from us all at WineWeaver.