Rioja's Ramón Bilbao is reaching new heights, launching the white-wine counterpart to its Edición Limitada Rioja.
One of the very few lees- and oak-aged Verdejos from Rueda, Edición Limitada ‘Lias’ Verdejo 2016 is the result of Ramón Bilbao's decade-long search to find a white wine with all the elegance and freshness of its Rioja reds.
The search saw winemaker Sara Bañuelos experiment with different vinificaton methods, from lees-stirring to cold fermentation, and ageing in every size from 225l barriques to 4,100l concrete tanks.
The new white is made from 19-year-old vines on the 60-hectare Finca las Amedias vineyard, and was aged for eight months on its lees in French and Hungarian oak. Much like its rouge counterpart, only a limited amount of numbered bottles have been released – just over 24,000.
Last year, the winery added a Sauvignon Blanc to its portfolio, and now the Lias Verdejo 2016 from its own vines. The 2016 vintage was also the first to be made at the company's new winery at Finca las Amedias.
Young and fresh, aromas of citrus fruits such as grapefruit and fresh lemon are apparent on the nose, with hints of white flowers such as elderflower and blossom and a subtle pepperiness.
On the palate, the wine is delicate and subdued, with those same citrus, grapefruit flavours dominating, along with lemon zest. A dairy-like creaminess also envelops the palate, but is matched with good, cutting acidity and a clean finish that stays for some time. A slight flinty character and herbaceousness are also present, resulting in a fish-friendly food wine that we'd love to taste again after a bit more time in the bottle.
'Whether we make our wines in Rioja or Rueda, we will always look to push boundaries and go beyond the "accepted" ways of doing things,' said Bodegas Ramón Bilbao’s head winemaker Rodolfo Bastida.
'This is the perfect partner to our Edición Limitada red where, in each vintage, we look to show a more innovative side to Rioja Alta by only using grapes grown at altitude: here we’re showing just how complex and age-worthy Verdejo can be.'
RRP £15, Enotria&Coe, 020 8961 5161