Bodegas Amaren, Blanco Barrel Fermented, DOCa Rioja, Spain, 2019
Jon Cañas (Luis Cañas’ grandson) is the imaginative winemaker behind Bodegas Amaren.
Jon has been granted free rein to explore the character of Alavesa’s vineyards, giving us a raw, modern interpretation of Rioja Alavesa. Bodegas Amaren is comprised of some of best and highest altitude vineyards around the villages of Samaniego and Leza, where the soil is poor and gnarly vines, ageing up to and over 100 years old, produces small bunches, perfect for making highly concentrated Rioja wines.
Vines average more Than 60 years in age and are situated around 545 meters above sea level. The plots are located locally around the winery – Samaniego and the north of Villabuena de Álava and Leza and consist of chalky soils poor in organic matter. Clusters and berries are small, with high concentration and plenty of nuances.
Manually harvested, grapes are selected on a double sorting table (first clusters and then berries). Only intact berries are selected. Alcoholic fermentation is conducted in 225 and 500 litre French oak barrels, whereas a small batch ferments in a concrete egg. The wine is aged in a combination of mostly new French oak barrels and concrete for an additional 10 months with regular battonage.
Type: 225 and 500 Litre French Oak
% wine oaked: 100
Pleasant chalky notes on the nose that showcase the clay-calcareous terroir along with additional complexity thanks to the wood fermetation. Tremendously fresh thanks to the acidity that the combination of the diffrent white varieties provide. This continues on the palate with stone fruit with citrus notes and tropical flavours accompanied with an enjoyable enveloping unctuous mouthfeel that shows the labour- intensive stirring of the lees. Very long finish with saline hints that perfectly match the chalky-clay soils of the Leza.
Pasta, rice dishes, white meats with light sauces, roasted or grilled fish, seafood, roasted vegetables, foie-gras.
Wines from Spain Awards 2022
Selected for the top 100 wines.
6 x 75cl
Award: Guia Peñin 2018 93 Points
Award: Tim Atkin MW 2022 Rioja Report, 95 Points.
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 94 Points
Award: Ferran Centelles - Rioja's Finest for Jancis Robinson.com 17 Points