We wrap up our spring series on cooling summer wines this week with a frisky and elegant Spanish white, a blend of native verdejo (85 percent) and viura grapes fermented in stainless steel.
The 2008 Marqués de Riscal Rueda ($15 or less at wine-savvy markets and wine shops) is an excellent aperitif and shines as a treat for sipping in the shade. It also would be a fine companion for sushi or for a big seasonal fruit and greens salad with goat cheese.
Herbs, flowers, big fruit civilized by a crisp acidity — this wine has it all. It begins with a bouquet of fragrant, herby lime and ginger aromas in the glass. On the tongue, assertive but clean mango, peach and lime flavors are to the fore. The refreshing finish ushers in hints of meadow grasses and white flowers, with a snap of anise at the end. The result is understatement with punch.
And here's a side note for wine-loving travelers: Riscal's vineyards in Rueda, in the Castilian region northwest of Madrid, are graced by yet another stunning piece of Frank Gehry architecture. His convoluted Ciudad del Vino houses not only the winery, but also a hotel, restaurant, spa and museum.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.