"El Transistor" may seem like a strange name for a wine, but the story behind it is cute. The fruit is sourced from some seriously old bush vines that Telmo Rodriguez brought back from the dead, and to keep the wild boars away from the grapes, he has a transistor radio blaring out of the vineyard. Told you it was cute.
The wine itself is a crisp, medium-bodied style that has seen a touch of oak. It shows tropical fruits and citrus on the nose, along with sniffs of vanilla bean. The palate is fruit-driven and silky with a touch of cream and talciness to the mouthfeel, before the dry, long, refreshing grapefruity finish.
Estate: Telmo Rodriguez is one of Spain’s pioneer winemakers, advocating native grape varietals tied to the climates and conditions of their sites, and making world-class wines from undiscovered, as well as known, regions. Perhaps most impressive, while Telmo Rodriguez makes rare and limited wines of astonishing character and quality, his everyday wines have been equally praised, and widely recognised for the tremendous value they offer.
Wine: Beginning with the 2008 vintage, Telmo Rodriguez has been producing a high-end cuvee in Rueda made from 100% Verdejo. The wine is called “El Transistor,” which translates to “the radio” in Spanish. The vineyard is so isolated that they have to leave the radio on to ward off the wild boars, to keep them from eating the grapes.
Vineyard: Rueda is a specialised white wine-only D.O. where Verdejo is the local star variety, accompanied by the international Sauvignon Blanc and a smattering of native Viura (Macabeo). 1.5 hours north-west of Madrid, Rueda is located on the high (2,500 feet), sandy soiled plateau of the Duero river. Climatically continental with extreme temperatures in summer and winter, Rueda is also within reach of the Atlanic’s cool/damp influence which provides frequent rain in autumn and spring. The fruit for this particular cuvee is sourced from 10 acres of old vines located between La Seca and Serrada, which are head-pruned and planted on sandy and stony slopes.
Vinification: The wine is fermented in a variety of casks of different sizes, as well as cement and stainless steel vats, using indigenous yeasts. It then matures in barrel for 9 months.