Spanish Wine Review: Shaya 2011

by mary on February 27, 2013

Rueda white wine is the standard house white throughout much of Spain and for this we give thanks! This Spanish wine saved me from wine hell so many times over the years in Madrid and I will be eternally grateful! It is often maligned by wine aficionados as simple, tiring and lacking distinct personality, but for an under 10 price point, expectations should be reasonable. A cheap Rueda may be simple, but it is also pleasant and pretty consistent. With care, you can even find some that offer a little complexity. Shaya is one of these wines. It is made from old vines and has the typical cut grass and tropical fruit aromas of the Verdejo grape along with some great freshness and length. All for 9€ in Spain and about 10$ here in the US!

Bodegas Shaya is part of of the Orowines group, one of the great Spanish wine groups under the leadership of Jorge Ordoñez. Unfortunately many changes in recent years have somewhat diminished the stable of top flight wineries that are part of the group, but there are still lots of great ones such as El Nido, Ateca, and Jorge Ordoñez' own line of wines. The Orowines group is one of the biggest importers of Spanish wines into the US market.

Shaya is made from 100% old-vine Verdejo, which is the best quality indigenous grape in the Rueda wine region. It is made in stainless, with no aging in oak, as are most Rueda wines, in order to preserve the freshness of the fruit…and to suit the Spanish preference for inexpensive, unoaked whites.

The 2011 has the typical tropical touches of pineapple and slightly green aromas typical of the grape variety but also lovely acidity, a touch of minerality and the long, slightly bitter finish that is also so refreshing characteristic. Really excellent Rueda in the under 10€ category….I was really happy to see it at such good prices in the US and so widely available. On the web I saw it around the 10$ mark, but the range is large.

The winery also makes a barrel fermented and aged wine called Shaya Habis. It has about 6 months in oak. It's very nice….Verdejo can take oak really well…it conserves it's freshness and personality and the oak adds richness, roundness and even more length. Very nice, but also markedly more expensive at 23€ and around 25$.

The basic Shaya is more my kind of white for the right price. For me Rueda wine offers great consistency and good quality at a great price point. I am always seeking out the best ones to recommend and this is one of them!

 

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