Bodegas Roda de Rioja unveils its first white wine

Bodegas Roda de Rioja has unveiled its first commercially available white wine: Roda I Blanco 2019, from what the winery describes as “one of the best vintages of the 21st century”.

The new wine is a country-style blend of old vines, dominated by Viura (over 90%) and complemented by Malvasia and Garnacha Blanca, sourced from a variety of high-altitude plots around Haro and surrounding northern villages. -West of Rioja.

Speaking at the wine launch in London, Bodegas Roda managing director Agustín Santolaya said the winery had been experimenting with making white wine for a few years.

“We had access to old vines and did some testing, but ended up drinking the wine ourselves,” he said. “In 2016, one of the owners [Mario Rottlant] got very serious and said, “I want a white Roda and I want it soon.” So we had to get on with it. »

The idea was to produce “something new” – neither a fresh summer white nor a wine in the traditional Rioja oxidative style. “The fact that we are presenting the wine as the summer is about to end is a statement,” Santolaya said. “We wanted a wine that went well with food, so we wanted volume, but we also wanted freshness.

The grapes were harvested relatively early and fermentation took place in small French oak fermenters before maturing for 18 months in a combination of 4,000 liter and 500 liter French oak fermenters. bocoyes, not all new. The wine then spent a further 18 months in bottle before being released for sale.

The winery first experimented with smaller French oak barrels, but found the wood influence too heavy. Lees’ work was also limited. “Excess is a word we prefer not to use,” explained Santolaya. “The wood, we say, is well integrated and not too aggressive. We try to be careful with him because sometimes he can really dominate.

Describing 2019 as the best vintage of the decade and “one of the greatest of recent times”, Santolaya said it was Mediterranean in character, with two heat waves in June and July, but produced healthy grapes with lots of freshness.

The company has debated whether to release Roda I Blanco 2019 as quantities are very limited, with less than 4,000 bottles available. Volumes will increase in future vintages, but production is constrained by the scarcity of vines of the right age and quality potential.

Roda I Blanco 2019 is available in the UK via Mentzendorff. The RSP is £60 per bottle.

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