Rioja makes me happy – tinto, blanco or rosado – it’s all good. Well, not all of it is good, and white Rioja is a slightly risky option. Marques de Murrieta is always divine, but a good red doesn’t guarantee a correspondingly good white, so the search is always on for a reasonably priced one for midweek drinking.
CVNE is one of my favourite Rioja’s, largely for romantic reasons, so I was happy to spot Vina Real 2004, a Rioja Blanco from them.
It’s a bright, straw colour with thick and gloopy legs. It smells inviting, with oodles of crisp grapefruity goodness balanced by rich toasty oak. It’s dry and wonderfully crisp. It’s of medium body, enough to be satisfyingly chewy, but light enough to enjoy midweek with paella (OK, so it’s ready-meal paella on a Tuesday, not home made). It feels a little less alcoholic than the 13.5% on the label.
This is carefully made wine with manual harvesting and fermentation in oak. This bottle cost me a fiver at Majestic. The regular price is £7, but if you buy more than one bottle of Spanish wine you get 20% off the lot. It’s reasonable value at £7, certainly standing up well against big brand New World wines at that price. At £5, it’s a steal.