Rioja Blanco 2020

Remelluri Blanco
Remelluri Blanco

Remelluri Rioja Blanco 2020

Remelluri became the first single-estate/monopole Rioja of the modern era with its release of the 1971 vintage. Remelluri is produced by the brother and sister team of Telmo Rodríguez (winemaker) and Amaia Rodríguez Hernandorena (viticulturist), with Telmo’s winemaking partner, the prolific Pablo Eguzkiza (trained at Château Petrus). 

Remelluri’s vineyards are located contiguously along the slopes of the Sierra de Toloño mountains, part of the Sierra de Cantabria chain, in the valleys of Valderemelluri, La Granja, and Villaescusa, just above the village of Labastida in Rioja Alavesa. The organically-farmed vineyards here are at the highest elevation in the Rioja region, with vines planted between 605m and 805m, south-facing, and protected from the prevailing northern winds and frost. The Remelluri landscape is an integrated system of agriculture with great respect for the environment, which includes regenerative and agroforestry elements employed to achieve biodiversity and harmony between the vineyard, mountainside, and human elements. 

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 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.

Vinification – Individual bunches were selected and handpicked in small crates. Whole bunches are crushed and spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeasts in new and used French wooden barrels, used foudres, and cement tanks, with the different plots kept separate. These separate plots are then aged for 12 months in barrels, foudres, and 1200L cement eggs. Afterward, the wine was blended and aged for a further eight months in neutral oak barrels before being bottled.

  • Villages: Labastida (Álava) and San Vicente de la Sonsierra (Rioja)

  • Sites: Doroño, Villaescusa, S.Esteban, Cerraja, Valderremelluri, San Cristóbal, Canales, Uzmendi, Transistor, Tabiques, and Cerraja at 605m to 805m

  • Grapes: A blend of many different white grape varieties

  • Vine Age: Planted between 1989 and 2012

  • 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

  • Suggested Retail: $124.00 (750mL) / $393.00 (1.5L)