The 2017 vintage was awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2019 edition review of Rueda (see blue link below).
Bodegas Protos Rueda Verdejo 2017 - March 2019 Decanter review
Bodegas Protos, derived from the Greek word for ‘first’, co-founded the revered Ribera del Duero appellation and has been making wines here since 1927. Staying true to their motto, origin above all, Protos pushes for new winemaking frontiers while prizing the wines’ sense of place.
Rueda is one of Spain’s oldest regions, dating back to the Middle Ages. In the 11th century, King Alfonso I designated the land for viticulture and divided it among winemaking settlers and monastic orders. From this time, the region was almost exclusively planted with Verdejo vines. Rueda’s white wines went on to become a court favourite of the Catholic Kings.
After arriving in Rueda in 2006, it took Protos’ winemakers over a decade to find their ideal terroirs – searching across the appellation for the finest expression of Verdejo. Protos has divided its vineyards into individual parcels based on their age and terroir, in order to create fine-tuned Verdejo blends in the winery.
Not all Verdejo is created equal. Protos does things differently, thus:
- Production is limited to 8,000 kg/ha – that’s 2,000 kg/ha under the appellation’s maximum allowance. Smaller production protects the unique character of the Verdejo gape and permits winemakers to be more selective.
- Harvesting takes place at night and carbonic ice is added to minimise oxidation, preserving Verdejo’s primary fruit flavours in the glass.
- To capture the essence of each Rueda terroir, the parcels are fermented separately using indigenous yeast from the vineyard.
- Winemakers practice minimal intervention, using their new non-invasive press and a tangential flow filter to create a more natural wine style.
- The wines spend three months ageing on their fine lees, with the help of specially developed micro-agitators.
- Each vat is taste tested by the winemakers for quality – those that don’t meet their standards are discarded and only the best wines make it into the final blend.
For this, Protos's 'standard' Verdejo, harvesting is 100% manual and the crop was gathered in 20-kilo boxes; the grapes are then spread over sorting tables. This allows them to guarantee that only completely healthy, whole grapes reach the fermentation tanks. After fermentation this wine spends a further 3 months resting on its fine lees (indeed, since 2017, the wine has been labelled as a sobre lias).
For this wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note of winemaking (and more) from Protos themselves.
Protos, Rueda Verdejo, Rueda 2020 - fiche technique
This wine has a greenish straw colour and is bright and clean. The Protos Verdejo is powerful yet fruity with green apple, citrus and tropical fruit aromas as well as white blossoms, fragant herbs and fennel hints. The flavours are very fresh, with good acidity, fruity, well balanced flavours. It is a complex wine, with a long finish.