Conde Valdemar, Rioja Blanco (Spain) 2022

($18, Cru Selections):  Fragrant floral notes immediately capture your attention here.  Along with them, Conde Valdemar has managed to combine a subtle fruity roundness with bright invigorating citrus notes in this mid-weight white.  A delicate hint of bitterness in the finish adds a balancing touch.  In addition to the usual white grapes allowed for Rioja, Viura and Malvasia, there’s a touch (5%) of Tempranillo Blanco, a white mutation of the more common red Tempranillo that is now included within the regulations for white Rioja.  This fresh white Rioja could be used as an aperitivo or to accompany a summery salad Niçoise or most anything from the sea.
90 Michael Apstein Aug 8, 2023