Iconic Martínsancho from Ángel Rodríguez will see its 30th consecutive vintage arrive to the US this year. The fabulous, drought-concentrated 2015 is among the finest vintages ever for this pillar of Spanish viticulture.
In the late 1960s, preeminent Bordeaux Professor Emile Peynaud was given the task of finding the most noble Spanish white variety to produce a dry white wine of equal stature to his client’s centenarian and iconic Rioja brand. He settled on Verdejo, an endangered, low-yield variety from the high plains of the Duero River around the village of Rueda. He specifically settled on one grower, Ángel Rodríguez, whose vineyards were located in the deep gravel banks around the village of La Seca, and whose family had preserved prephylloxeric Verdejo vines in the face of mass uprooting in the mid-20th century.
Ángel’s 1972 planting of 10 hectares of Verdejo on deep gravel using cuttings from a 300-year-old Verdejo parcel named Martín Sancho marked the birth of modern Rueda.
In 1982, Ángel was knighted by the King of Spain in recognition of his work in saving one of Spain’s greatest viticultural treasures.
Cuttings from Martín Sancho were subsequently propagated by the Department of Viticulture at University of Montpelier, and exported world wide.
Martínsancho Verdejo is still produced exclusively from the vines planted in 1972. It is naturally concentrated from low yields produced by bush-pruned, dry-farmed vines. The deep roots extract remarkable minerality from the gravel deposit. Densely structured yet fresh, Martínsancho is capable of aging gracefully for ten years or more.