White and rosé wines and its divine charm

By Alejandro Garcia White

The variety of white grapes in the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin is diverse, qualitatively rich in aromatic nuances and taste. There are nine varieties that are authorised by the DOCa Rioja: viura, malvasía, garnacha blanca, tempranillo blanco, maturana blanca, turruntés, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and verdejo. All of them provide expressions fruit various, acidity, floral aromas, citrus, green apple, banana, notes of herbaceous, producing elegant wines that are fine, and in some cases, ideal for ageing in barrels.

The most important of them is the variety Viura, par excellence, the white grape of the DOCa Rioja, which is appreciated for its acidity that wears a lot of freshness in their wines, hardy, adaptable to different soil types, high yields but without falling into excesses that are detrimental to the quality of the wine. Its versatility lends itself to having fruity wines, both young and Foster, semisweet and dry; the handling of the barrel gives contributions elegant and unctuous on the palate. Of Malvasía de Rioja, the most important contribution is its aromatic intensity and its stickiness; the White Grenache gives the wine body and alcohol content. The Tempranillo Blanco apparently was born from a natural mutation that suffers Tempranillo Tinto, and brings to the wines bodied and intense aromas of tropical fruit, citrus. The Maturana Blanca, unlike the previous one, has no relationship with his similar ink; by your side offers a high acidity and good contribution of aromas. The Turruntés of the DOCa Rioja should not be confused with Torrontes Argentina, nor with that of Galicia. Its herbal aromas and fruit contribute to a fresh wine because of its important acidity.


Adapted to the environment of DOCa Rioja, are the white varieties additional, the Chardonnay, which is the white variety most recognized in the world for its quality, elegance and remarkable evolution in wood; the Sauvignon Blanc which was also part of this range, like the previous is recognized for its quality, fineness and its pleasant scents that evoke tropical notes, citrus, floral, herbal, and of course his unmistakable note of “pee cat”. Finally, the Verdejo, which is also present in other Spanish denominations, provides an interesting complexity of aromas, herbal with a touch of freshness by its acidity and its very particular touch bitter in the mouth.

A touch of color

The colour in the wine is obtained from the permanence of the skins in the must; the phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins and flavonols present in the shell, to give colour to the must while they are in contact. There are two ways of making rosé wines from this technique, the first is to make a wine with grapes such as tempranillo and garnacha and leave the skins in the must for a short period, that the winemaker deems convenient so that the shell gives it the properties of the variety as just a touch of color to the must. Over this period of time, remove the skins to continue with the wine while keeping the pink colour resulting from the wort.

The other way of making a rosé wine is known as Bleeding; it produces initially a red wine, and at an early stage of the process is removed part of the must without the skins bleeding the original gravity, obtaining a rosé wine to keep your wine separately. The resulting wine, the must is initial that continues vinificándose contains the highest concentration of all the elements present in the shell providing a higher concentration of tannins and color.

There are many examples of pink in the DOCa Rioja, many of them elaborated with 100% Tempranillo grapes and using the technique of bleeding, this way you get colors pink type of raspberry, offering aromas of strawberries, cherries, roses and violets; on the palate they are fresh, delicate and invite for a second drink. There are also wines made with 100% old vines Garnacha; they are fresh, elegant and expressive, a pale pink with notes that evoke the white fruits such as perón and the apple; good acidity and lasting on the palate.