The Rioja wine region of Spain is especially known for its red wines. But, with 567 wineries, 14,800 grape growers, and the largest number of wine barrels in the world, Rioja makes more than just its famous tempranillo-based red wines.
Indeed, the most widely planted white wine grape grown in Spain is called Viura in Rioja, and is also known in other places as Macebo, Macabeu and Maccabéo. One of the best expressions of the Viura grape is found in a wine called CVNE (Compañía VinÍcola del Norte de España) Monopole ($16) – the oldest white wine brand in Spain, dating back to 1915.
Monopole is made from 100% Viura grapes which are gently pressed and fermented in stainless steel (no oak). It’s pale yellow in color with pretty floral aromas on the nose and flavors of pear, peach, apricot and apples on the palate. It is a bone-dry wine, making it a great food partner, but silky on the tongue with good acidity. We found Monopole to be really nice for pairing with sushi at Mint Tapas and Sushi restaurant last week.
The new 2020 vintage of Monopole features new “modernized” packaging which, according to the winemakers, “was introduced to capture the essence of Monopole – elegance, quality, and experience by reinstituting the original Monopole label typeface and maintaining the Rhine bottle format. In addition,the quality of the paper for the label was upgraded to endure in an ice bucket over time, since this wine should only be served cold.”
If you’re looking for a versatile, delicious wine for spring and summer sipping, CVNE Rioja Monopole should be near the top of your hit list.
Photo by Ted Scheffler
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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