2004 Alvarez Y Diez "Mantel Blanco"

Posted by CrushWine

Over the years, I've tasted my share of wines from Rueda and listened to Spanish wine importers and enthusiasts rave about them. But, none of that marketing or talk ever convinced me. Sure, Spanish white is generally nice and crisp, perfect for sipping on the patio or by the pool. But no Rueda has ever knocked me over with complexity, flavor or depth.

But then I tried the Mantel Blanco Rueda, which has that extra dimension I've been looking for. The Mantel Blanco offers an incredible mid-palate, wonderful purity of flavor and a soft yet vivid texture. It really transcends my idea of Rueda. To serve, think lighter fish and seafood, but it also makes for a refreshing cocktail wine.

Rueda, an appellation halfway between Madrid and Rioja, is primarily made from an overlooked grape variety called Verdejo. When grown in the right places, Verdejo can create racy yet fat wines with a soft body but very sneaky acidity.

Whether for cerebral meditation or serious guzzling, this wine makes a perfect case to buy. Believe me, you'll want to have it around, especially as we welcome spring.


Verdejo is a Spanish grape varietal that produces a wine with a palette full of green fruit - especially pear. It is the primary grape grown in the Rueda region, one of the largest white wine regions in Spain.

Thought to be indigenous to Rueda, the grape was widely planted until phylloxera. After the disaster growers began to favor Viura for its higher yield, until the 1980's when Verdejo was resurrected by the Marques do Grinon.

With the "Mantel Blanco," Alvarez y Diez has managed to produce a Verdejo with excellent structure, balance, and natural complexity.