This is the second Riojan White I tasted in Haro. it is an entirely different kettle of fish to the previous one.First the Viura grape (85%) is blended with Tempranillo Blanco (15%). This is a relatively new grape variety found by accident in Rioja in the 1980s and added to the Riojan Whites DOCa in 2007. So I suspect they are still experimenting a little.

Secondly the bodega, Gomez Cruzado, states quite clearly that their objective is to favour the Burgundian style that highlights the qualities of the land, over the varietal expression. I.e they don’t want this to taste like a typical Viura wine.

To this end the grapes are grown on‘the same plot, located in a high altitude area of Haro. Stony alluvial soil with a mantle of pebbles at the surface and a deep limestone layer (basic), on a slight slope. Low yield per vine and minimum tillage to avoid deconstructing the soil.’ 50% of the grape stems were left in the pressing. Then half the volume was matured in french oak and half in stainless steel. Both for five months with the lees left in.

Firstly I would say to Gomez Cruzado that they’ve achieved their objective. This is nothing like a typical Viura. It’s much more complex, more body and higher acidity. In colour it is the typical clear pale lemon, but it has a more intense nose (medium) of floral, bread, mineral, stone and citrus fruit. It’s a medium bodied, dry white wine with a medium to high acidity, and a medium finish.

Then comes the complicated bit: how it tasted. I had this wine at home when I returned. I opened the bottle straight from the cupboard at room temperature and had a glass. Then put it in the fridge, so the second glass was about 45mins after the bottle was opened and chilled.

The second glass was much better than the first. There was a nice mix of tropical fruit and brioche, with some light minerality and citrus from the acidity. In the first glass the citrus overpowered the other flavours. By the second glass the tropical fruit and brioche were stronger and the mineral flavours a nice addition. The citrus was still too strong for me but not as bad as the first glass.

This is a very interesting wine with serious potential.

Photo by honestwinedrinker
Photo by honestwinedrinker
Name: Gomez Cruzado Rioja Blanco
Colour: White
Year: 2017
Grapes 85% Viura (Macabeu), 15% Tempranillo Blanco
Winery: Bodegas Gómez Cruzado
Country: Spain
Region: Rioja
Quality Classification: Denominacion de Origen Cualificada
Alcohol: 13%
Price: 10,50€

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