Like Beaujolais and Bordeaux, we tend to think of Rioja as predominantly, perhaps solely, a red wine - with white Rioja at best something of a minor sideline.
Most white Rioja that one comes across these days is fresh, modern and inexpensive - but more serious versions do exist.
And CVNE have something at each end of the scale; from the fresh CVNE Blanco to the complex and age-worthy Contino Blanco, both are fresh and versatile, with the Contino a serious alternative to an oaked white Burgundy.
Cune Barrel Fermented Blanco 2015 (£9.80, Waitrose, Wine Rack, Tanners Wines, independents) ripe, fresh orchard fruit and galia melon; pure with long saline minerality. Elegant, substantial and deft.
Contino Blanco 2014 (£25.45, Waitrose, independents) precise, elegant orchard fruit with complex toasty oak; a single-vineyard wine with old-vine substance. Will age.
Jancis Robinson was also impressed with both these wines (earlier vintages) - see here.
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