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Wine Review: Rioja Blanco, López de Haro 2018

Quick facts:

- Crisp with stone fruit aromas

- £10.99 from Majestic

- Malvasia and Viura blend

- Easy drinking


We are all familiar with the Spanish region of Rioja, but mainly associate it with the classic reds made with Tempranillo grapes. Rioja Blanco in its traditional style is now much less available because it is no longer in fashion. It was made to be oaked and nutty, which is not overly popular with modern tastes; people today are tending to lean towards lighter and more fruity styles (hence the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc boom!). Because of this, a lot of white Rioja producers are beginning to make their wines in this lighter style, which is giving the whites of the region a new lease of life. Of course, there are excellent examples of these wines. But, personally, I must admit that I miss the classic Rioja Blanco expressions! In light of this, López de Haro marries the new and old styles together, with a fresh palate complemented by ripe stone fruits such as white peach and pear. There is also a very subtle almond character, from minimal oak ageing. As it is certainly more relatable to the modern, fruit-hungry palate, this wine is an excellent way to introduce yourself to the other wines that Rioja has to offer. Of course, this pairs excellently with some salty tapas or salted nuts.

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