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Spanish Verdejo lands on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list

François Lurton makes history with Campo Eliseo


It was only four years ago that the enterprising winemaker François Lurton from Bordeaux founded the estate Bodega Campo Eliseo in the Spanish region of Rueda. Now the estate’s white wine has ascended the Olympus of the international wine world: Campo Eliseo’s Cuvée Alegre 2018 has made it onto the Top 100 list of Wine Spectator.

François Lurton 2016 © François Lurton S.A.
For a long time now, the passionate winemaker François Lurton has recognised a great potential not only for reds but also for white wines in Rueda. With his ‘Campo Eliseo Cuvée Alegre 2018’, a wine from this growing region has found its way into the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 for the very first time. © François Lurton S.A.

It is the very first time that a white wine from northwestern Spain’s winegrowing region Rueda  has appeared among the Wine Spectator’s Top 100. The wine, a monovarietal bottling from the indigenous grape variety Verdejo, can now therefore be counted among the very finest in the world. The renowned US magazine Wine Spectator has been compiling a list of the world’s hundred best wines every year since 1988, the result of rigorous tastings by an experienced panel. To be included in this list is like a patent of nobility – after all, 15,000 wines (!) were compared & contrasted with each other to create the current ranking. In addition to outstanding quality and a sense of individuality, the thing that qualifies a wine for inclusion is the so-called x-factor – the emotions it evokes.

Fruit-forward, rich & evocative
Campo Eliseo’s Cuvée Alegre 2018 received 90 points on the Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale. The tasting panel praised its fruit and the ‘elegant aromas of pine & quince, with base notes of vanilla & spices’. The wine is nicely balanced, simply made for the palate of gourmets – ‘complete and good to go’. With these characteristics, Campo Elíseo’s Cuvée Alegre took 88th place in this classification, as the first wine from the D.O. Rueda.

François Lurton, Campo Eliseo Cuvée Alegre Rueda 2018
Campo Eliseo, Cuvée Alegre 2018

The wine was vinified from 100 per cent white Verdejo grapes from 25–30 year-old vines, which grow on barren, stony ground that contains a high proportion of limestone. At 600 metres elevation, cool nights encourage the slow ripening of the grapes, which are fermented after manual harvesting in underground cellars dating from the 17th century, partly in stainless steel tanks, partly in small oak casks and partially in oval concrete vats. The result is a refined wine with an appealing nose and delicate aromatic intensity, offering hints of pear and citrus. The wine is nicely rounded on the palate, with a hint of salt and a pleasant freshness thanks to its natural acidity.

The estate Campo Eliseo
Two big names from the French wine scene stand behind the Campo Eliseo winery: one is that of François Lurton, a scion of the legendary Bordelaise wine dynasty, and the other belongs to star oenologist Michel Rolland and his wife Dany. Together they breathed new life into an old bodega in the village of La Seca near Valladolid in 2016: the indigenous Verdejo (white) and Tempranillo (red) grapes grow here in the hills. The vineyards will be organic certified from 2020 onward; here the cool climate brings forth wines full of character, replete with dynamic tension & expressive fruit.

Campo Eliseo © François Lurton S.A.
The wine estate Campo Eliseo in Rueda, Spain. © François Lurton S.A.
The gravelley soils of Rueda impart a great deal of structure to the white wines. © François Lurton S.A.

François Lurton: ’I have known Rueda and its diversity for thirty years, and have been looking for the best terroir there for a long time. That is why I feel honoured and particularly proud that my Cuvée Alegre has been included in the Top 100 by Wine Spectator – and even more so, since it is the first Rueda wine to receive this recognition’.

For more informations please contact Campo Eliseo.


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