This fleshy, classy white is crafted from 100-plus-year-old vines of Viura (70%) and Garnacha Blanca (30%). It is sourced from four highland vineyards around Haro and Villalba. After a wild ferment, the wine was aged on lees in Russian, steam-bent, untoasted oak barrels (a fine-grained Caucasian wood that allows for excellent balance between fruit and oak) for nine months.
The result is a super-pretty, aromatic wine with crushed citrus notes, savoury elements and a juicy, silky and vibrant palate (racy, yet with good texture thanks to the low yields from the ancient vines). The finish is salty, savoury and refreshing. Since 2017 the wine has been presented in a Burgundy-shaped bottle, another indication of where this wine is heading. Bring it on.
"Yields were down a third in 2019 because of the heat, but this organic cuvée of Viura with 30% Garnacha Blanca doesn't taste over-concentrated. Subtle and aromatic, with fermentation and ageing in (15% new) Russian oak, it's a wine that needs wine to exert its charms, with jasmine aromas and subtle baking spice and orange zest flavours." 93 points, Tim Atkin MW, Rioja Special Report 2021