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drink different - white rioja

1st Jun 2015
White Rioja

Spain’s most famous wine region, Rioja, is best known for its red wines, but this month’s Drink Different uncovers an excellent, fresh alternative to Sauvignon Blanc – white Rioja.

Made predominantly from the Viura grape (also known as Macabeo), but also from Garnacha Blanca, Malvasia and Verdejo, white Rioja once had a reputation for being over-oaked, slightly oxidized, and heavy, displaying cloying flavours of caramel, nuts and even coffee. 

But nowadays you will increasingly find lightly oaked or even unoaked examples, and they allow the grape to express the kind of refreshing acidity you might find in a Loire Sauvignon – but with much more body and backbone to add interest.