91 Insider Points


Talk about aromatic!  This Verdejo from the Rueda is bursting with peach, green apple, camphor and lime peel, showing crisp and fresh on the palate.  There is a bit more ripeness on the mid palate, but in general this is all about enjoying a light and crunchy glass of wine on a warm day and with snacks.  We don’t often find Verdejo worth offering, but this is  great example of the category and I’m taking the sample home with me tonight.  Enjoy now through 2017. - DZ May, 2015

    Rueda, Spain
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Fruit, glorious fruit! This vivid fruit bomb of a white is smooth as pie, fresh and brightly citrus-inflected with mineral intensity and a crisp, inviting finish. Our Panel calls it addictive. At this price, the wine’s “moreish” personality is hardly problematic!

Offering a huge mouthful of tropical pineapple and crisp pear flavors, this is a summertime white without question and the kind of easy-to-drink wine you’ll want handy--already opened in an ice-packed cooler--whenever parties spontaneously occur or for more intimate dinners for two on the patio.

No oak when it came to fermentation or aging, this vivacious, 100% Verdejo was kept in temperature controlled stainless steel only, a step that ensures the bright fruit stays at the forefront. Natural yeasts and frequent lees stirring are further insurance that this one is pure, and fresh from beginning to end. Amazing with fish; our Tasting Panel can think of no better match for ceviche!

Reasons why we love it:

Winemaker Antonia Sanz is something of a legend in the wine world, and has earned serious accolades for this Palacio de Bornos project. In this case, it’s Sanz’ sons Ricardo and Marco who deserve all the credit. As fourth-generation oenologists and viticulturists respectively, the brothers Sanz struck out on their own in 2005 to launch Menade.

The Sanz name is justifiably famous internationally, with a host of award-wining wines made under Antonio Sanz’ Palacio de Bornos label. Locally, however, the name goes way, way back… to 1860 when the first generation Sanz earned fame for owning the first mechanical press—ever.

The Sanz are also pioneers when it comes to organic and sustainable farming practices. Taking an absolutely cutting-edge approach to the work, this estate farms 50 hectares of native vines without the


Straw yellow with green reflections, clean and bright.Concentration of varietal and mineral aromas. Emphasized aromas of white fruit intermingled with hints of herbaceous type – notes of laurel, fennel and aromatic plants of low mount (such as thyme). Dry, balanced and tasty.  Certain bitter touches – typical of verdejo. Round with volume. Natural acidity holds a long and elegant finish.


The three siblings behind Menade are Marco, the viticulturalist, Richard, the winemarker and Alejandra managing sales and communications. Each has a tremendous amount of respect for what their family has achieved in Rueda but they are not content to rest on anyone’s laurels. Marco has converted the property to organic farming, Richard has traveled widely to learn his trade working stints in Spain, France, Hungary and Chile – experiences which have taught him that the future of Rueda lies in championing the indigenous Verdejo variety, and Alejandra has been happily traveling the world promoting the terruño of Rueda and the wines of Menade.

The Sanz siblings agree that organic farming, a high proportion of old vines grown on chalk and careful harvesting at night are essential to produce vibrant and fresh wines. Fermentations are done in temperature controlled tanks under a blanket of CO2 and using only indigenous yeasts. A variety of tank sizes are at their disposal, so fermentations can be made by flavor profile and minor variations of soil. While it common in the DO to blend Sauvignon with Verdejo, Richard makes three purely Verdejo cuvées for us – each expressing a unique variation of the varietal.


Verdejo is excellent with greens dressed in vinaigrette and other sharp ingredients such as tomatoes and olives. Also pairs perfectly with Seared scallops; garlic shrimp; mussels.