2nd July 2019 by Rachel Wallhouse

This week’s “Wednesday night sausage wine” is a real crowd pleaser – the super value CVNE Monopole white Rioja from Spain.

I feel that white Rioja is arguably one of the most improved styles of wine in the last 15-20 years. A few people are surprised that there is white Rioja as it’s red Rioja that has really dominated the consciousness of most wine drinkers in the past. This is probably with good reason; 20 years ago white Rioja really had a poor reputation. It was a real couch potato of a wine; generally flabby, dull and boring and a real poor relation to the fresh and attractive white wines of Albarino and Rueda from Spain.

In the intervening years though white Rioja has commendably donned the Lycra and hit the gym (metaphorically of course!) and it now produces a really lovely, attractive, clean, fresh yet textured wine. The wine makers now understand that the grape of white Rioja, which is called Viura, needs cooler sites and earlier harvesting – all the stuff that helps maintain the freshness of the grape. The grapes for Monopole white Rioja come from the higher altitude Rioja Alta and gain those vital Atlantic influences which help keep the grapes nicely balanced.

The Monopole white Rioja is an attractive pale yellow colour with a soft floral, pear and apple nose and is quite smooth yet fresh on the palate. I had it with a simple seafood paella (on a Tuesday by the way! It doesn’t have to be a Wednesday or, indeed, with sausages for that matter!). It was delicious, even the sun was shining.

Try it you’ll love it!

The CVNE Monopole White Rioja 2018 from Spain (13%), is available now at The Whalley Wine Shop at £8.99 a bottle. Or buy a case online here.