Spanish Wine Exclusives

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Spanish Wine Exclusives

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La Rioja

Bodega 220 Cántaras is a small, dynamic and naturally oriented winery set in Cordovín, a high altitude town in the Rioja Alta sub-zone of Rioja. Cordovín is renowned for its traditional, pale rosé wine, called clarete, which is made by macerating white Viura and red Garnacha grapes together and then elaborating the pink juice into a rosé wine. The secret of the success of the claretes is the excellence of the Viura in the area.
Although white wines were historically given short shrift in Spain, former owner Honorio Rubio set out to create world class whites with the winery’s best grapes. With the help of consulting winemaker Alberto Pedrajo, and their interest in traditional and natural methods of making and stabilizing white wines they created four innovative, world class limited edition wines: three whites, and a rosé that we believe show the heights of what white and rosé Rioja can achieve.
Alberto Pedrajo, now the head winemaker, continues the excellence of their groundbreaking limited edition wines, each employing a different winemaking method. “Macerado” takes its cue from “orange” wine producers from Georgia, Macedonia, Yugoslavia and Greece, and the natural wine movement’s valorization of lost techniques. The result is a seamlessly balanced wine offering the yeasty intensity and distinctive flavors of an “orange” wine, that at the same time retains its Rioja identity. While it clearly shows an “orange” cast in hue, it is not as severe in style as some long skin contact wines, and maintains some of the character of a classic table wine.
“Lias Finas” white takes its cue from the hundreds of year old traditions of long lees contact common to the top white wine appellations in France. The result is a refined and well-structured white showing a kinship to white Burgundy, that at the same time retains its Rioja identity. It combines the richness of a long lees contact, barrel-aged white common in Premier and Grand Cru white Burgundy from a selection of the winery’s best high altitude Viura grapes. It’s a fresh, modern and elegantly rich style of white Rioja.
“Lias Finas” rosado takes its cue from the hundreds of year old traditions of long lees contact common to the top white wine appellations in France, but here combined with traditional Cordovín clarete winemaking. The result is a rich and deeply textured rosé showing a kinship to white Burgundy melded with its Rioja clarete identity. It offers the richness of a long lees contact, Viura and Garnacha co-maceration and the barrel-aged character common in cru classé white Burgundy—from a selection of the winery’s best high altitude grapes. It’s a fresh, modern and complexly rich style of Rioja rosé.
Añadas” is a non-vintage white that takes its cue from the hundreds of years old traditions of both the Sherry solara system and the long barrel-aged whites of Rioja. It is comprised of a more than 10 year old solera of barrels, in which each year some blended wine is drawn off and some fresh wine is added from the current vintage. The result is a category bending white of exceedingly high quality. It melds the bright acidity and complexity of a top-class barrel-aged white with distinctive wood nuances evocative of fresh Fino Sherry. It’s a remarkable powerhouse of a white, destined for long ageability, but completely enjoyable now. In the most straight forward of terms: it’s simply delicious and fascinating too!