Bodegas Amaren, Malvasia, Rioja Alavesa, Spain (150cl.), 2016
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.
From El Pomal vineyard in the village of Leza planted in 1912. The Malavasia Riojana has, traditionally, been present in their vineyards often as part of a mixed field blend with Tempranillo, Viura and other grape varieties. In this particular old vineyard they have preserved this grape, also known as “Rojal” given the pink hue it takes when ripe.
Manual harvest in baskets and a grape by grape selection at the winery. Fermentation in a concrete 1.700 litre “egg”. Ageing on its own fine lees in the same “egg” for 14 months with weekly Crianza “bâtonnage”. No barrel ageing. Aged for 2 years in bottle in the Amaren cellar before release.
No oak ageing
This is a wine of great aromatic complexity. On the nose there is an abundance of ripe fruit such as pineapple and pears as well as delicate floral aromas sof orange blossom, dried flower petals, nutmeg, and brioche. Very complex. The ageing on its fine lees and “bâtonnage” ensures a rich and full flavour, dense full bodied and long.
A perfect aperitif wine but where it shines is on the table, accompanying seafood, fish with powerful sauces and even meats.
Tim Atkin MW 2022 Rioja Report, 95 Points.
Two vineyards, planted in 1908 and 1912, supply the grapes for this stunning Malvasia Riojana, or Rojal. Fermented in concrete eggs, with lees contact adding texture, it's apithy, layered white with struck match reduction, lime and pink grapefruit flavours and effortless concentration. 2022 - 26, 95 Points, TA, February 2022.
Malvasia Riojana/Rojal 100%
1 x 150cl
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja 2022 Special Report 93 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 94 Points
Award: Guia Peñin 2018 93 Points