Rioja Blanco: The Wine To Have In Your Glass This Summer

White wine is unlikely to be the beverage that springs to mind when you first think of Rioja. Yet the gastronomic heartland of Spain produces vino Blanco that’s just as diverse, innovative and high-quality as its red counterpart. And with sales of White Rioja soaring, it’s proving to be this season’s on-trend summer tipple. 

Up to nine white grape varieties 

The famed Spanish wine-making region produces premium white, as well as red grapes, which make up the primary ingredients of these exciting wines. These lesser-known blends can include non-Spanish varieties of the fruit, but this is limited to a maximum of three other grapes. 

Your choice of young or mature 

The sheer variety on offer ensures there’s a bottle to suit every palate and to match almost any meal. Take your pick from fresh and fruity, through to more complex oak-aged varieties. Joven (young) Blancos have no oaking requirements. Crianza undergoes minimum ageing period in barrels of 6 months with a minimum period in the cellar of 18 months. Reserva has 24 months of maturation with six months in the cask. While Gran Reserva provides a bold sipping experience having been through 48 months of ageing with six months in cask.

White Rioja makes a wonderful long lunch or dinner accompaniment. But it is equally divine enjoyed as a summer evening aperitif or digestif and here are a few of our favourites right now!

Izadi Blanco, 2019

A refreshing white Rioja from modern producer Izadi. A small proportion of the cuvee is fermented in French oak to add a touch of spice, whilst regular batonnage has added savoury notes and more texture.

Buy From – Loki Wines; Noel Young Wines

Contino Blanco, 2017

A beautiful white Rioja from Contino. Produced using a blend of Viura, Malvasia and Grenache Blanc, this is an elegantly floral white with hints of spice and crunchy orchard fruit.

Buy From – Hedonsim, Field and Fawcett

Gómez Cruzado, Montes Obarenes, 2017

Predominantly Viura, with 25% Tempranillo Blanco. The grapes are hand-picked into 200Kg crates, and are hand-sorted further at the winery. 80% of the must is fermented and aged on fine lees in new French oak barrels, and the remaining 20% is aged on fine lees in egg-shaped concrete tanks.¶ÿThe use of old bush vine Viura adds aromatic character, while on the palate there is minerality and a refreshing salinity, which balances textural, ripe fruit on the finish.

Buy From – Kwoff, Vino Wine

Bodegas Muga White, 2020

Founded by Isaac Muga Martínez and his wife, Auro Caño in 1932, in Haro, at the Western end of Rioja Alta. The grapes are planted on clay and calcareous soils at the foot of the Obarenes mountains, which are 100% barrel fermented in new oak, from the winery’s cooper. Complex and toasted aromas with fresh, vibrant fruits give way to zesty lime, spicy and vanillin toasted oak flavours, fresh acidity, and a refreshing spicy finish. Enjoy over the next three years with full-flavoured fish dishes, such as Paella.

Buy From – Majestic, Nickolls & Perks & Christopher Piper Wines


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