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BODEGAS ANGEL RODRíGUEZ/MARTíNSANCHO

Region: Castilla y León
Appellation: D.O. Rueda
City: La Seca
Winery GPS Coordinates: 41.415102,-4.906501

OVERVIEW

Martínsancho is Angel Rodríguez' 17th-century vineyard responsible for the preservation of Rueda's indigenous Verdejo grape. Cuttings from here were used in 1976 to establish a 25-acre vineyard planted in the traditional head-pruned fashion and dry-farmed. Low-yield Verdejo apports viscosity and a long finish while retaining a delicate floral nose.

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HISTORY

The emergence of Rueda as a prestigious white wine region is the story of a unique grape called Verdejo. Although among only a small handful of truly noble Spanish white varieties, it was in danger of extinction by the early 1970s due to pervasive planting of more prolific producers such as Viura and Palomino. Angel Rodríguez saved the shy-bearing, thick-skinned Verdejo through loving refusal to uproot his 17th-century vineyard, Martínsancho. For his untiring efforts in favor of reestablishing Verdejo's prominence in its region of origin he was officially honored by King Juan Carlos.

The majuelo (plot) of Martínsancho is less than an acre of gnarled vines, preserved in isolation as a museum of prephylloxera viticulture and as a continuing source of undisputed varietal authenticity, treasured by nurseries throughout Europe. In 1976, Angel regrafted 25 acres of his best vineyard, using Martínsancho cuttings. The alluvial soil is pure gravel to a depth of over 30 feet. The harsh continental climate and extreme altitude of Old Castile, together with the soil's austere inhospitality to all types of insects and bacteria, allow for the practice of completely organic viticulture.

A traditional subterranean bodega is still in full use, replete with 5,000-liter oak bocoyes in continuous use for centuries. For Martínsancho, two glass tanks of 20,000 liters are used for fermentation of the unpressed Verdejo juice, the wine subsequently transferred underground for clarification and rounding in the cooperage.

Production of Martínsancho is under 4,000 cases, its informing character obtained both from the Medieval vines and the 25-acre parcel. Harvest is carefully timed and rapidly completed, for consistent maturity and health in even the most difficult years. Archetypical of authentic Verdejo is Martínsancho's refined, creamy bouquet with surprisingly long and complex finish.

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PRESS

Martínsancho Verdejo (2012) - "The 2012 Martínsancho offers attractive aromas of citrus, pear and herbs with floral notes. It is ripe and flavorful on the palate with good acidity and viscosity and freshness on the finish. Undoubtedly one of the finest Verdejos on the market."

90+ Points
Don Winkler, International Wine Review, Feb 12, 2014

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2012) - "Light gold. Ripe citrus and pit fruits, herbs and honey on the perfumed nose. Sappy and concentrated, offering bitter lemon pith and pear flavors and a touch of tarragon. Finishes broad and smooth, with notes of anise and peach pit."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2013

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2011) - "Pale yellow.  Vibrant, mineral-inflected aromas and flavors of citrus fruits and green apple, with quinine and white pepper nuances.  Dry and racy, offering zesty lift and a long, focused finish.  This pure, energetic wine will work with all sorts of seafood dishes or with fresh cheeses."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2012

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2010) - "Angel Rodríguez is credited with saving the Verdejo grape from extinction by refusing to replace it in the 1970s with more prolific varieties, such as Viura and Palomino, in his Martínsancho vineyard. I, like so many others, would like to thank him. The 2010 Martínsancho shows a glorious combination of subtle herbal notes intertwined with a hint of creaminess. More minerally than fruity, it has a rich texture without being heavy. A vibrant citrus finish magnifies its complexity. This is benchmark Rueda."

92 Points
Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, Jul 1, 2012

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2010) - "Rueda has justifiably become trendy in recent years because of its resemblance to sauvignon blanc from New Zealand: somewhat grassy and herbal but without the aggressiveness. Martinsancho is credited with starting that craze by showing what the verdejo grape can produce from this region. There are many good Rueda wines available; this is the archetype."


Dave McIntyre, The Washington Post, Aug 1, 2011

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2010) - "The 2010 Martinsancho Verdejo is, as usual, one of the finest of its vintage. It is a terroir-driven offering with aromas of melon, citrus, nutmeg, mineral, and floral notes. Crisp, vibrant, and intense, this impeccably balanced offering is a role-model of precision Verdejo. Drink this outstanding value (although it is pricy for Verdejo) over the next 3-4 years."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Jul 1, 2011

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2009) - "The 2009 Martinsancho Verdejo is light straw-colored and redolent of baking spices, especially nutmeg, mineral, and floral notes. On the palate it has excellent grip and volume along with intense fruit flavors and a lengthy, pure finish. Drink this vibrant effort over the next 3 years. The Angel Rodriguez estate is given much of the credit for the preservation of the Verdejo grape. "

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Apr 30, 2010

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2008) - "Green-tinged gold. Deep, pungent aromas of floral honey, pear, green papaya and salty minerals. Weighty orchard fruit and herb flavors are brightened by notes of orange peel and minerals, with a deeper honeyed quality on the back. Really stains the palate, showing excellent breadth and lingering spice and floral notes."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 17, 2009

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2007) - "This Spanish white wine is quite satisfying and will be a crowd pleaser this summer. It opens with a pleasant lime like bouquet with hints of wet stone. On the palate, this medium bodied wine is slightly viscous, balanced and has well integrated acidity. The flavor profile of the wine is slightly tart key lime with mineral notes. The finish is dry and refreshing. This flavorful wine would really complement grilled swordfish. Enjoy - Ken"


Ken Hoggins, Ken's Wine Guide, Aug 15, 2008

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2007) - "Pale yellow-gold. Intensely perfumed, complex nose displays fresh lime, grapefruit, anise, herbs and white flowers. Nervy citrus flavors are complicated by thyme, licorice and white pepper, with bracing minerality adding verve. The finish clings tenaciously, repeating the mineral and floral notes. Weightless, precise and impressively persistent, with a filigree quality that is really alluring."

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Jul 15, 2008

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2007) - "The 2007 shows lots of pear and apple on the nose, at first....then opens into a glorious version of green-and-veggy Sauvignon Blanc. On the palate, the immediate zap is great acidity.....which buzz-saws right through a palate of some richness and substance. Really lively wine, and great for food."


David Rosengarten, Rosengarten Report, Jul 14, 2008

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2006) - "The 2006 Martinsancho Verdejo is sourced from dry-farmed old-vines. Very aromatic, almost Muscat-like, with notes of honey, spring flowers, and mineral notes, this dry, fruity, refreshing wine has splendid balance, a vibrant palate-feel, and excellent length. Drink this superb value over the next 2-3 years."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Apr 29, 2008

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2006) - "Light straw. Strikingly pungent nose shows an energetic citrus and herb personality underscored by zesty minerality; this smells like top-notch Sancerre. Crisp lemon-lime and quince flavors are finely etched and uncommonly concentrated, with a bitter citrus pith quality extending through the finish. Very pretty wine"

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Jul 1, 2007

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2005) - "Angel Rodriguez is recognized for having saved Verdejo from extinction in the 1970s. His vineyards are totally organically farmed. The 2005 Martinsancho Verdejo is light gold in color with aromas and flavors of mineral, lemon-lime, and pear. Medium-bodied, the wine is round and supple-textured, well balanced, with a touch of honeysuckle emerging in the finish. Drink it over the next 12-18 months. "

87 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2004) - "Wonderful ripe and round aromas and flavors of pear, melon, honeysuckle, lychee, and lime; long, spicy, mineral finish. Tastes of a great vineyard. [Serve with] shrimp, scallops, Chinese food. Excellent by-the-glass choice."


Gerry Dawes, Santé Magazine, Sep 1, 2006

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2005) - "Light gold. Pungent, grassy nose, with vibrant scents of lemon, green tea, ginger and jasmine. Spicy and incisive, with brisk citrus flavors accented by herbs and minerals. Finishes broad, supple and spicy, with gentle acids."

88 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2006

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2004) - "The 2004 MartínSancho is yet another exemplar of the Spanish white-wine renaissance. It's crisp, fruity, somewhat thick-textured, and filled with hints of peach, citrus, and floral notes with a long, lingering finish. This is an ideal white to serve with cheeses and white meats as well as the more expected fish and shellfish. At $14 a bottle, it's a standout deal."


Matt Kramer, The New York Sun, May 3, 2006

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2004) - "Spicy aromas of cinnamon, rose oil and mint. Broad but quite dry, with more texture and fat than flavor payoff. Some hints of apple and pear are slightly dulled by a bit of alcoholic warmth. "

86 Points
Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, Oct 1, 2005

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2004) - "Crisp and green on the nose, with aromas of celery, green pepper and passion fruit. Tight and juicy across the palate, with peach and lime flavors. Dry as a soda cracker on the finish, yet firm and food friendly."


Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Aug 1, 2005

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2004) - "The crisp, fruity 2004 Martínsancho possesses Sauvignon Blanc-like characteristics of melons, figs, and flowers. It will be flexible with an assortment of dishes if consumed over the next year."


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Jun 30, 2005

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2004) - "Rueda's crisp white wines are dynamite with seafood, but they also often have surprising depth and body to them. This is one of my favorites, with lovely green apple and lemon-lime flavors that are pure, fresh, crisp, but with a richer, melony center that adds a bit of weight. Three and a half stars (out of four)"


Tim Teichgraeber, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Jan 1, 2005

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2003) - "Heavily aromatic, with strong scents of nettles, citrus and mineral. This is a big-boned white, the product of a hot summer. It oozes pear and peach flavors prior to a smooth apple-coated finish. All in all, there's a nice medley of activity, with good acids to push everything forward. "

89 Points
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Sep 4, 2004

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2001) - "Well balanced, dry, and rich with pear, honeysuckle, mineral, and bitter almond; long, mineral finish. Fish, sophisticated modern cuisine dishes."

Value recommendation
Sante Magazine, Annual Buying Guide, Jan 1, 2004

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Martínsancho Verdejo (2001) - "The knockout nose of fresh citrus, spring flowers, mineral and stone, which wafts from the 2001 Martínsancho Verdejo, is nothing short of stupendous, but then again everything about this wine is outstanding. From Martínsancho's brilliant golden, green-tinged robe to the purest, longest, most natural tasting finish we have encountered in years, the 2001 Martínsancho is indeed unique and nothing short of remarkable."


The International Wine of the Month Club, Sep 1, 2002

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WINES

Click on a wine name below to learn more about the vintage:

Martínsancho Verdejo (2013)

Martínsancho Verdejo (2012)

Martínsancho Verdejo (2011)

Martínsancho Verdejo (2010)

Martínsancho Verdejo (2009)

Martínsancho Verdejo (2008)

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