Bodegas Amaren, Malvasia, Rioja Alavesa, Spain (150cl.), 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.
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
Pale yellow and intense, bright-green hues. A wine of great aromatic complexity. On the nose there is ripe fruit such as pineapple and pears as well as delicate floral aromas such as orange blossom, dried flower petals, nutmeg, and pastry such as “brioche”. A full fruit sensation gives way to floral and balsamic essences on the after taste. 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.
Malvasia Riojana/Rojal 100%
1 x 150cl
Award: Guia Peñin 2018 93 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja 2022 Special Report 93 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 94 Points