The Castilla y León region of northwestern Spain is perhaps most famous for its reds from the Ribera del Duero DO (dominated by the Tempranillo grape), but it is also well regarded for its Verdejo-based white wines, especially those of the Rueda DO. Ossian, which was opened in 2013 by the Ruiz Aragoneses family (owners of Pago de Carraovejas in Ribera del Duero), makes only three wines, all from Verdejo. Castilla y León has long, cold winters, intensely hot summers, and little annual rainfall, all of which create challenging conditions for viticulture. But the very old vines (some up to 200 years of age) planted in sandy soils offer the perfect environment for the grapes to reach their full ripeness and potential.
“Quintaluna,” the grapes of which are harvested from plots in northern Segovia, is an exceptional expression of Verdejo. Made using only native yeasts, which is far from the norm for this region, it spends about nine months on the lees in stainless steel and French oak barrels. What emerges is a serious, unctuous wine, perfect for these frigid Chicago winter nights that keep us indoors until the warmth of spring arrives. With aromas of tropical fruit and white floral notes, it’s rich and textured on the palate but with a cleansing acidity and minerality to balance out the richness. Though the wine is great on its own, it cries out for food. A glass alongside Croquetas de Jamon during tapas hour or served at the dinner table with Caldereta de Langosta (lobster stew) would have even the most sophisticated white wine aficionado raising their eyebrows.
This is a full, complex, textured wine that shows just how special the region of Rueda and Verdejo grapes can be.
Ossian Vides y Vinos
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