Refreshing Rioja Blanco With a Strong Value Proposition

Today’s Story: Finca Allende

Finca Allende was established in 1986 by Miguel Ángel de Gregorio in the hilltop town of Briones in the Rioja Alta region of Spain. Allende’s home, the Ibarra Palace, is a mansion built in 1675 for Don Pedro Ibarra and it’s situated amongst hillside vineyards that capture both Mediterranean and Atlantic influences in a unique and diverse terroir. Allende operates in three vineyards, each with their own microclimate and soil types to enhance various characters of the winegrowing process: Mártires (planted in 1970 in clay soil), El Calvario (planted in 1945 in stony/gravelly soils), and Aurus (60 year average vine age in clay and deep gravel soils). In caring for these vineyards, Allende refuses to use herbicides or synthetic chemicals and practices more traditional and manual farming (like plowing most vines with mules). All fruit is hand-harvested, hand-sorted three times, and manually punched down. Long aging in both barrel and bottle help guide the wines into the “Allende style” which is often fully-rounded, fuller bodied, and well-structured.

Today’s Wine: 2015 Rioja Blanco

95% Viura, 5% Malvasia; 13.5% ABV

The 2015 Rioja Blanco is transparent medium to deep gold in color. This is a lovely wine on the nose, showcasing aromas of lemon zest, peach, juicy pear, golden apple, honeysuckle, white truffle, dill, and vanilla cream. Moving onto the palate, I get notes of honeydew, lime zest, grapefruit, ripe pear, white florals, mild green herbs, exotic white spice, and almond. This is medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, a fully-rounded and somewhat oily mouthfeel, and a long refreshing finish.

Price: $30. I think this is a very nice value wine, and to be honest I’ve found quite a few Riojas and Rioja Blancos that can be. This seems to be drinking incredibly well right now and I see it being at a great point for at least a few more years.