Rioja blanco: The nutty white
White Rioja deserves to be better known, said Eric Asimov in The New York Times. “Savory, oaky, mineral, spicy, nutlike,” it’s a Spanish wine that’s refreshing in a distinct way: neither light or tangy, but balanced and energetic. Great with seafood, white Riojas will never be as well known as the region’s reds, but “they are well worth exploring.”
2006 López de Heredia Rioja Crianza Blanco Viña Gravonia($29) Aged many years before it’s released, this four-star wine is “rich and oaky, yet pulsing with energy.”
2008 Viñaspral Rioja Blanco Honoratus Aurum($29) “Rich, smoky, textured and energetic,” this is a rare Rioja made from nothing but the viura grape.
2015 Muga Rioja Blanco($15) Fermented in French oak, this younger white is “focused and lively,” with flavors of citrus, oak, spices, and nuts.
Ronnie Cabello, Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times ■