Remelluri Blanco Rioja 2018

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Remelluri Blanco has been the passion project of Telmo Rodríguez since his early days as a winemaker, becoming one of the most coveted and sought-after cult wines in all of Spain. The story goes that in the early 1990s, Telmo’s father Jaime would never let him experiment with the red wines of Remelluri because the risk of failure was too great to make substantial changes. Instead, Telmo was given free rein to create a white expression of the Remelluri farm. For this project, he was inspired by his time spent learning winemaking in France with Gérard Chave in Hermitage, Clape in Cornas, and Château de Beaucastel in the southern Rhône. There Telmo learned to make wines that he refers to as “human-scale wines” that spoke of people and place, wines with soul. That was exactly the type of terroir-driven white wine he set out to make in Remelluri’s high-altitude vineyards (700m+) on the mountainside, overlooking the Ebro river valley, Rioja sprawling out below in every direction.

The concept of Remelluri Blanco remains the obliteration of grape variety by using a variety of co-planted vines, ensuring Remelluri Blanco speaks only of the terruño of the place rather than of any particular grape or process. With Remelluri Blanco, he has achieved something truly unique and singular, with each vintage coveted by the same collectors who search out Chave’s Hermitage Blanc and Montrachet by Domaine Leflaive. Telmo’s Remelluri Blanco illuminates a path forward for world-class, place-based white wines capable of improving in bottle in Rioja during an era when only the red wines garnered any attention or respect. As with all of the wines of Remelluri, the white wine handsomely repays extended cellar aging and patience. Remelluri Blanco is produced in very small quantities and offered to the best clients of Remelluri.

  • Site: Valderemelluri, Mojonera, Granja, San Esteban, Transistor, Tabiques, and Cerraja at 605m to 805m
  • Grapes: A blend of nine different varieties
  • Vine Age: 10-70+ years old
  • Soil: Limestone and clay calcareous with exposed bedrock
  • Vinification: Fermentation with indigenous yeasts in barrels and cement
  • Aging: 12 months in barrels, foudres, and concrete eggs, then eight months in barrels
  • Farming: Certified Organic by ENEEK Basque Organic Regulatory Council
  • Vegan: Yes

98 points
James Suckling:

“Super white with dried-apple, peach, stone and mineral aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied with layers of really complex, ripe fruit and bright acidity. Undertones of cream and nougat. Seamless texture. Rioja’s answer to grand cru Burgundy. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.” (9/2020)


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