Budget Wine: Soliluna Viura 2013 Cariñena

soliluna viuraThis is one of those popular wine varieties you’ve perhaps never heard of. It’s primarily grown in Northern Spain, especially in Rioja, where it is the dominant grape in the blend sold as White Rioja, and in the Cava producing regions near Catalan where it goes by the name of Macabeo and is part of the blend for that sparkling wine. (There is a small quantity grown in Southern France as well)

Traditional white Rioja can sometimes be heavily oaked and is made from relatively ripe grapes producing a rich, creamy wine that will age for many years. But in modern styles the grapes are harvested young with no oak and the result is a light bodied, zesty quaffer that is usually a good bargain.

This one is from the wine region of Cariñena  well to the East of Rioja nearer the Cava production region and is in the modern style intended to be consumed young.

Apple and floral notes with tangerine hints on the nose form the background for a blast of gunflint minerality, generic citrus flavors on the palate with no trace of oak, very crisp and refreshing, with a pleasing chalky note on the mouthwatering finish.  Simple and light-bodied with a mouthfeel that will make you pucker, the acidity could use more fruit to achieve balance but on a hot, summers day this will satisfy.

The Spanish government in its infinite wisdom has decreed that no more Viura be planted—it should be replaced with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. This is just what the world needs—more Chardonnay. It would be a shame to lose one of those white wines that really will age nicely.

This wine reminded me of a song I haven’t thought about in years. If you want to get in the mood for summer try Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer”. Here’s hoping yours won’t be.

Score: 84

Price: $5

Alc: 13.5

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