Jaun de Alzate de Bodegas Loli Casado, Lapuebla de Labarca, Rioja Alavesa

“First the founder, then the son, now the granddaughter, Loli, heir to a tradition that the passage of time has transformed into a passion for a way of life and feeling for the earth where wine is culture and culture feeds the tradition.” That is the mission statement of this 75 year old winery (most of whose vines are that old as well!) in the heart of La Rioja. It’s working! Situated between 360 and 400 meters elevation the vineyards (85% Tempranillo with small sections of Mazuelo and Graciano) are terraced into the hillsides with the best southern exposure for maximum dosage of sunlight. After harvest and fermentation, the wines are matured in older barriques placed deep into caves cut into the hillsides.

Jaun de Alzate Rioja Blanco 2010, Rioja Alavesa, Spain  

Fellow traveler Eric Asimov of The New York Times once enthused about Rioja Blanco that “The best modern versions are light-bodied, lively and dry, like pinot grigio with a brain. They are refreshing, with zingy acidity, and yet they can still have a great deal of flavor.” Mostly Viura (also known as Macebo), this crisp, floral and minerally white has no twigs to get in your teeth or in the way of your second glass and will pair nicely with a wide range of fish or fowl (and don’t forget the OTHER white meat!)

 

Jaun de Alzate Rioja Blanco 2009

Viura Fermentando en Barrica, Rioja Alavesa  

100% Viura (also known as Macebo) fermented in French oak barriques, this wine brings the fresh floral and white fruit flavors of Rioja Blanco but with the rich textures usually associated with Chardonnay or maybe Viognier. It’s been a huge hit in our Wine Bar and compliments a wide range of foods. Drink it…we’ll get more!

 

Bodegas de Familia Burgo Viejo, Alfaro, La Rioja

Six families of farmers dreamt of winemaking and founded Bodegas Burgo Viejo in 1987. Burgo Viejo´s main asset has always been their vineyards, located on prime sites throughout the district of Alfaro in the foothills of the Yerga Mountains above the Ebro Valley. They are dedicated to the local varieties (Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Garnacha and Graciano for the reds plus Viura for their lovely Rioja Blanco) harvested from vineyards with a minimum of 30 years of age (the Garnacha below comes from NINETY year old vines!) given a vinification informed by modern technology but with a goal of traditional stylings. We love them for both absolute quality AND extraordinary value for money.

Burgo Viejo Rioja Blanco 2010  Sold Out, New Vintage Soon!

100% Viura that was fermented at cool temps in stainless steel then aged for three months on the lees to give it a bit richer texture and add a nutty undertone to its fresh green apple and peach fruit notes. Consider it a fun and wallet friendly alternative to Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio and hit it with your favorite fish, seafood or lighter chichen & pork dishes.

 

Bodegas Estraunza, Lapuebla de Labarca, Rioja Alavesa

This family owned Bodega is located on the banks of the Ebro river in the southernmost part of Rioja Alavesa. They have been bottling their own wines since 1989 after years of selling in bulk. They use caves excavated deep into the local hills in the 17th century by now defunct wineries to store their wines at perfect temperatures.

Solar de Estraunza Rioja Blanco 2010  Sold Out, New Vintage Soon!

This lovely white is made from 100% Viura that is lightly pressed after harvest, allowed to settle for two days then fermented for three weeks at at just 39°F (this slow cold fermentation locks in the aromatics and preserves the natural acidity). The result is one of the lightest and freshest whites we offer yet it is still packed with flavors and aromas of green apples and white flowers. Grab some Mariscos (Tapas, Baja style or Cantonese with Black Bean and Garlic, or maybe all of the above) and have a great day….