The down side of tasting all of these wines per week for me is that it takes a lot to get my attention. Out of probably close to trying 75 wines per week, only 5-10% of those are considered for the store. It's not about price, it's about quality for the money; it's not about just being "good" enough, but about over delivering. And last week there were a few that met that criteria as we are looking for new wines for our wine bar list and were pleasantly surprised.
The Bodegas Ordonez Nisia was one such wine which is currently on our shelves and will have a spot on our new list which will be released on Wednesday. The wine is a special project by importer Jorge Ordonez, who for the last 25 years has championed Spain, treasure hunting from La Rioja to La Mancha to bring its jewels to the world and especially America. Some criticize him for his new world style wines, a bit homogenized for old world palates, but there are some real gems in his portfolio no matter what your style.
Lately, over the past couple of years, Jorge and his sister, Victoria, have upped their investment by actually purchasing several Spanish estates and taking over every aspect of operations. The 2011 Nisia is the product of Ordonez' newest acquisition, a superb Rueda plantation of old-vines Verdejo just outside the city of Segovia. The harvest is done at night when the temperatures are much cooler than those during the day in September, the typical harvest month in Rueda. The vines used for Nisia are more than 60 years old, and you can taste the quality in this wine. The poor soils here, mostly river stones and sand, and low yields, results in a level of concentration that is seldom experienced in Spanish white wines. You can buy this little beauty for under $15...what are you waiting for?
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 91 points
The 2011 Nisia is made from 100% old vine Verdejo (the youngest vines were planted in 1942, and others are nearly 100 years of age). The wine is aged sur-lie, and fermented in both stainless steel and large format French oak. It is undeniably one of the finest Verdejos I have ever tasted. Yields were less than three tons of fruit per hectare, which is noticeable in the wine’s old vine intensity. Notions of caramelized white citrus and tropical fruit blossoms along with a naked, natural texture as well as finish make for a terrific dry white with loads of personality and complexity. This beauty sells for an absurdly low price. Enjoy it over the next year.