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Remirez de Ganuza to launch ‘game changing’ white

One of Rioja’s leading bodegas, Remirez de Ganuza, is poised to launch its first gran reserva label based on white grapes.

The estate’s owner, Jose Urtasun, told db that the winery was releasing just 3,000 bottles of the inaugural 2013 vintage in September, priced at approximately €90 in Spanish retail.

The high end white is made predominantly from Viura, with around 1% of Malvasia and 1% Garnacha Blanca in the blend, which is aged for 11 months in new French oak and has an ABV of 13.5%.

The wine, which was bottled in September 2014, is based on fruit sourced from a small vineyard planted in 1978, called El Olagar.

“This new wine will be a real game changer – it’s the first vintage of a single vineyard white Rioja gran reserva from our winery,” said Urtasun.

“There is an expanding niche for high quality and affordable competitors to top-end Burgundy – white Rioja can deliver just that. Rioja’s white wines have historically been undervalued, but this is now changing.”

According to Urtasun, just over one hectare of white grape varieties destined for the wine are planted in the high altitude (600m) site, on the slopes of the Sierra de Cantabria.

“The 2013 vintage was not considered a great year for reds in our area, but in our opinion it is outstanding for whites,” Urtasun told db.

“We already have advance orders that exceed our production volumes, so we will have to work with very limited allocations.”

He added that the bodega intends to keep another 1,000 bottles in its wine library, to be released at an unspecified later date.

“Releasing back vintages has become very important, as an increasing number of high-end restaurants and collectors seek our back vintages for their verticals,” he said.

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