February 2019 Wine Club White

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Bodegas Ontañón is a fifth-generation family-run winery in Rioja Baja. In 1988 they discovered a white grape growing on their Tempranillo vines in Rioja Baja. After several years of investigation, the Consejo Regulador of Rioja accepted that this was a natural mutation of the usually red Tempranillo grape and approved it as a variety to be grown as DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) Rioja. Only a handful of growers in Rioja have Tempranillo Blanco vines.

Bodegas Ontañón saw the potential of this newly accepted Rioja varietal and planted 15 hectares of Tempranillo Blanco in 2010. The 2017 vintage made from 100% Tempranillo Blanco is only the second release from the winery.

Sourced from vineyards at 600 meters (a little under 2000 feet) altitude, the grapes were picked early in the morning and slowly pressed, followed by separating the seeds to maintain optimal aromas and flavors during fermentation. Then the juice spends 2 months on lees to enhance both flavor and texture.

The wine is aromatic with intense tropical fruit and hints of pineapple, white flowers, and citrus. On the palate, the texture is evident, joined with a lively minerality and balanced flavors of ripe stone fruit and hints of orange blossom. The wine has a crisp acidity and a lengthy finish.

For food pairings, the wine is ideal as an aperitif with cheeses and salads or as an accompaniment for roasted vegetable dishes, risotto, and poultry.

This wine was awarded the Gold Medal in the 2018 Sommelier Wine Awards.

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