Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Blanco Capellania

By | July 29, 2007

Alberto Contador made it safely across the line with the peloton to win the Tour de France. Along with his yellow jersey, he’s also entitled to the white one. He’s a team winner too with Discovery. Go Alberto! The last guy to achieve that feat was Jan Ullrich. I hope Contador doesn’t have to explain away bagged blood in ten years time. I hope this Tour finally makes the point that cycling is clean and if you’re not you shouldn’t turn up. I hope other sports take the same tough line.
None of the drug worries should detract from Contador’s achievement, so I found the nicest amarillo/blanco Spanish wine in the house, a Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Blanco Capellania 1998. It’s a yellow-gold colour with strong legs. It smells of warm, rich American oak – toasty, nutty, vanilla.
It’s dry, with a surprising tang of wood tannins and a crisp acidity. It’s pretty full bodied for a white wine, making it a good choice for people who claim they don’t like whites (along with Vernaccia) . The flavour lingers wonderfully.
1998 was a good vintage in Rioja, with plenty of sun. Alberto Contador was fifteen when these grapes were harvested. I hope he was having fun on his bike then. I wonder if he was dreaming of today.