Wine Geek Recommended
Meet the CoolVines Wine Geek! He’ll guide you toward – or away from! – wines that have a unique flavor profile: intentionally oxidized wines, earthy, stinky wines, wines with a bit of fritz on the tongue. Look for him throughout our web site, and on the shelves in our stores, to point the way toward these geeky wines.
The Valserrano "Blanco Barrica" is made from 100% Viura grown in the highest areas of the bodega's old, nutrient-poor soils. Traditionally crafted, it's aged in French oak casks for 6 months and enrichened by weekly batonnage of the lees. The result is a wine with floral and citrus peel aromas with nuances of sweet spices. On the palate the wine is silky in texture, with citrus peel elements bolstered by good acidity and just a hint of wood for added complexity and a lengthy finish. Uncork this jewel with food, friends, or a good book.
Though it's name has changed numerous times over the last 100 years, the bodega dates back to the second half of the 19th century when Francisco Javier Solano y Eulate, owner of a large area of vineyards in Villabuena, began making wine using methods then en vogue in the Medoc appellation of Bordeaux.
Since Francisco's era, the bodega has been passed on through several generations and is now managed by the de Simon branch of the family. Today the estate owns several vineyards and produces a Viura-based white wine and traditional red Riojan blends using Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Graciano as well as mono-varietal, single vineyard wines in exceptional vinatages.
The Rioja DOC sits astride the Ebro river, as it winds its way from its source in the Sierra de Cantabria range, to the Mediterranean at it's mouth just below Barcelona. Divided into three subzones, wines of Rioja often depend largely on which part of the region the vines are grown.
To the northwest lies Rioja Alta, where Tempranillo and Garnacha vines grow on the higher elevations of the foothills of the Cantabrias. Next to it is the Basque region of Rioja Alavesa, where the Alava province juts into the Ebro Valley. To the southeast is the hotter, Mediterranean-influenced Rioja Baja, where more of the native Graciano is blended into the area's reds.
Rioja's wines have historically been simple reds, blended and aged in American oak. An influx of French winemaking practices led to more refined efforts at estate-bottling and more judicious use of oak, and more French oak at that. Nowadays the region is struggling to find a cohesive identity, producing excellent wines of both new and old world character.