Vivanco White Rioja ($11.99)
From the producer:
"Vivanco Viura-Tempranillo Blanco-Maturana Blanca. The first wine in Rioja, and in the whole world, to be made with this unique blend. Using traditional Viura as a basis and main variety (50%), the wine includes, for the first time, two minority grapes which are exclusive to Rioja: Tempranillo Blanco and Maturana Blanca. The three varieties come from estate-owned vineyards grown by the Vivanco family in different terroirs across Rioja.
50% VIURA: The main white grape variety grown in Rioja, it produces fruity wines with floral aromas and remarkable acidity, ideal for making both young and aged whites. Our Viura vineyards are located in Briones, Rioja Alta.
35% TEMPRANILLO BLANCO: This grape variety comes from a natural genetic mutation found in a single cane of a red Tempranillo vine, discovered in an old vineyard in Murillo de Río Leza (La Rioja) in 1988. It has a fruity, intense aroma of bananas, citrus fruit and tropical fruit with floral notes. It does not exist anywhere else in the world.
15% MATURANA BLANCA: It is the oldest grape variety to have a written record in Rioja, being mentioned in a text dating to 1622. Maturana Blanca wines are a greenish yellow, with fruity aromas of apples, bananas and citrus fruit underscored by grassy notes. It does not exist anywhere else in the world.
Tempranillo blanco and Maturana Blanca, an indigenous, minority white grapes that are exclusive to the DOCa Rioja. Bodegas Vivanco is a pioneer in the use of this grapes varieties, which gives this white wine a unique personality.
Estate-owned vineyards in Briones, Rioja Alta (Viura, Tempranillo blanco and Maturana blanca) with a marked Atlantic influence, and Tudelilla, Eastern Rioja, in a vineyard at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level in the Sierra Carbonera (Tempranillo blanco and Maturana blanca).
The Tempranillo blanco and Maturana blanca during the second week in September and Viura, at the end of the month. Picked by hand and taken in small crates. All the grapes are placed in a cold room for 24 hours before being processed on the sorting table.
Each grape variety is vinified separately. After a brief cold maceration of the whole grape clusters (between 10-12 hours), the free-run must is fermented in small stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures (12-15 °C) to retain its full varietal expression. The wines remain in contact with their lees in stainless steel tanks for 4 months to preserve the varietal aromas against oxidation and give them greater harmony and unctuousness in mouth.
Our bottle is inspired in an original eighteenth-century bottle that is on exhibit at the Vivanco Museum of the Culture of Wine.
Pale-yellow with green hues; clean and bright. To the nose it proves expressive, intense and complex, with aromas of citrus fruit, green apples and white peaches, underscored by elegant floral hints. Very fresh and well-balanced in the mouth, enticing one to drink and enjoy.
SERVING AND PAIRING
Serving temperature: 6-10 °C. Ideal for wine by the glass, as a standalone appetiser or with all types of tapas. It is a good choice to enjoy with mild rice dishes, all types of salads, white meats, cold creams, fish and shellfish."
If you've never had white Rioja, this is absolutely the one to try. From the shape of the bottle, to the labeling, to the wine itself, this is a gorgeous product. The unique blend of grapes lends a complexity that you will not find in other Riojas; you are truly getting an authentic taste of Spain with this wine.
Côté Mas Aurore Rosé ($15.99)
From the distributor:
Clay and Limestone
Average yield:70 hl/ha
Grenache 50%, Cinsault 30%, Syrah 20%
The grapes were destemmed and each variety was vinified separately.
Gentle pressing occurred with a pneumatic press; only the free-run juice is
used for our Rosé. The fermentation occurred at 17°C in temperaturecontrolled
stainless steel for 3 weeks.
The wine was aged on its lees with regular stirring for 40 days in new coated
cement vats. During the ageing process we look at maintaining a maximum
fruit expression and concentration thanks to regular pumping-over.
Pale salmon color. Complex nose with cherry and strawberry notes evolving
towards soft candied fruit. The palate is rich and smooth with ripe red fruits
and a well-balanced acidity.
Best served with light dishes, salads or on its own as an aperitif. This wine
can be kept 2 to 3 years.
ABOUT DOMAINES PAUL MAS
Jean-Claude Mas has blazed the trail for premium winemaking in the
Languedoc region of the South of France. Since taking the helm of the
centuries-old Domaines Paul Mas in 2000, his driving mission has been to
use only premium quality grapes to craft superior wines with a modern, New
World flair. Above all else, this innovative, fourth-generation vintner strives
to make wines with authenticity and refinement, the end result of which is a
family of magnificently charming wines that burst with personality and
express their unique terroir."
This is another winner from Paul Mas--their wines consistently punch above their weight. The Aurore Rosé is a delicious, thirst-quenching, light and juicy wine that's perfect for a hot summer day. At $15.99 for a 1 L bottle, it's also a great deal!
Viña Maitia Aupa Pipeño ($12.99)
From the distributor:
"Frenchman David Marcel is the producer and winemaker of Aupa with his Chilean wife Loreto. Marcel comes from the French Basque Country and has been involved with wine in Chile for a long time. He was one of the first winemakers in Chile to succeed in the production of quality, craft Pipeño starting with the 2013 vintage. The combination of the traditional production method and the traditional grape varieties lead to a very unique, herbal, and quaffable wine that is an incredible value. Aupa!
Pipeño is the traditional method of winemaking in Chile, which dates back to the late 16th century. The Aupa Pipeño from Viña Maitia is an old school blend of 80% País (aka Mission/Listan Negro/Criolla Grande) and 20% Carignan from a 10 hectare, 120-year-old, dry farmed vineyard in the Maule Valley of Chile. This valley benefits from a Mediterranean-like climate where high temperatures in the summer are cooled by the breeze from the Humboldt Current in the Pacific Ocean. Pipeño is a very rustic wine, especially when produced with País, a sacramental grape which was the first grape planted in the Americas, brought here by the Spanish. The País grapes are removed from the clusters manually by being hit over a zaranda, a metal grid that acts as destemmer and press, to a traditional concrete vat, where a natural yeast fermentation takes place. The Carignan is fermented with whole clusters, and then the blend is aged briefly in concrete before bottling into flint glass at a 12.9% ABV with small amounts of sulfur."
You must try this wine. Period. It's not like anything you've had before, and it's a perfect summer red. It's great on its own, or pair with barbecued meats and veggies, hearty salads, or gazpacho. You can drink it at room temperature, but it's best with a little chill on it.