Rioja is iconically known for its red wines, but today we’re looking at three lighter styles from this region and its neighbor, Valdeorras. Grown in a hot climate, these exuberant wines are clearly built for summer sipping. Let’s dig in.
2019 CVNE Monopole – A 100% viura white wine from Rioja. Clean but rather perfumed, with notes of white flowers doing battle with a bit of lime peel and just a touch of slightly sour, unripe fruit. The acid on the finish is cleansing but a bit overwhelming. B / $15
2018 Pagos del Galir Godello – 100% godello from Valdeorras, a white wine. Here we again have a perfumed, floral note, with notes of honeysuckle and cotton balls bursting up front. There’s a lemon and tangerine character that builds aggressively toward the finish, helping to brighten up the wine and giving it a crisper finish. B+ / $21
2018 Vina Real Rosado – A rose blend of garnacha, tempranillo, and viura from Rioja. Hyper-fruity with loads of fresh berries, this drinks much like a typical and unsurprising California rose with notes of vanilla and sweet cream on the finish. B- / $14