Type: Dry white Made with: Verdelho Plays well with: Cream sauces, sharp cheeses, non-oily fish
If folks know about verdelho, they know it primarily as a blending grape in its native Chianti, Italy. But winemakers in Portugal have been making a pretty tasty white out of it for… Well, a really long time. And several California growing areas are starting to include it in their own blends or as a varietal of its own – including the nice folks at Dancing Coyote, in Acampo, California, part of the Clarksburg appellation.
The 2009 Verdelho has a nice floral nose. The taste is citrus and spicy with dry fruit flavors – think fresh peaches instead of canned peaches in syrup. These are the kind of good acids that clean the palate and prepare the mouth for the next taste. It would be a shame not to enjoy it with food, like some nice sharp cheese, but it’s also very nice on its own. Alcohol is 14.5 percent, which is fairly moderate these days.
Be aware, it’s almost gone – so do make sure you skip over to the website, www.dancingcoyotewines.com, sooner rather than later if you want some.
This wine deserves to be enjoyed at the drop of a shrimp fork.
Seriously. There’s a strong core of minerals in the flavor that brings almost a briny character to the wine.
Verdelho is perhaps best known as a Portuguese varietal, mostly because it’s one of the components of Madeira and often used in that other Portuguese classic fortified wine Port. In France, however, it is fermented into a crisp, dry white.
The Kenneth Volk version has a clear yellow color, and the honeysuckle in the nose (aroma) is delicate and not overpowering.
The flavor of citrus peel balances out the mineral flavors mentioned above, giving the wine a crisp, light cleansing feel in the mouth. Which means serve it with light seafood. Maybe some nice, big cocktail shrimp that have been steamed and chilled, or a big green salad with chunks of lobster or crab.