In the cellar: Félix Azpilicueta white
After some participating in the competition for the Golden Nose held every year editions have time to write and recommend one of the wines produced by the winery main sponsor of the event: Azpilicueta. Many participants think that we have to discuss, recommend or put on restaurant menus wines, for an alleged commitment to participate in the contest repeatedly. In my case, far from this. To put minimally this winery Bodegas Azpilicueta is part of the French multinational Pernod Ricard, producer of multiple liquors, spirits, wines, champagnes, etc. all over the world. Here in the Spanish state controls Domecq Bodegas, owns wineries like Alcorta, Campo Viejo, Century, Ysios and Azpilicueta (those in Rioja), Aura (Rueda), Tarsus (Ribera del Duero) and Las Campanas (Navarra) group. That is, only here in the state, we are talking about millions and millions of bottles for consumer, foodservice channel, export and with some minor exception of smaller productions and maintained. Some may be surprised that it is recommending a wine from a group of wineries dedicated primarily to produce quantity and wines commercial break. But like many things in life, you have to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff and always can find little gems in this world of wineries dedicated to supply the consumer. And this we recommend today is one of them. The fact is that one of the wines served at different times of the Golden Nose, we were pleasantly surprised, especially me, unable to enjoy in your nose and mouth. This wine is the white Félix Azpilicueta 2011 and is of a complexity and elegance that I expected. And it is a wine that, as all the wineries in Rioja, dedicated primarily to produce red wines. In this case, rather classic and commercial (notes of wood and aging quite marked) and very used to mark on the label the words “Crianza”, “Reserva” and “Gran Reserva” focused to like the general public type. Last year I had the opportunity to visit the winery and, like other wineries of this kind, surprised by its vastness wherever you look: fermentation tanks tens of thousands of liters, the entire room robotic bottling and labeling a aging room with a staggering 70,000 barrels !! (Or so they say), etc. Within this jungle tanks, hoses, clamps … wondering where would the barrels where production elaborated this little white Félix Azpilicueta (limited to 10,000 bottles). There, in a corner of the huge aging room, secluded from the rest had about 20 barrels of this extraordinary white Rioja, resting in the corner like a spoiled child who want reared separately. Do not deceive anyone if we say it is not a wine from a single farm, of that parcel of vineyard with a particular microclimate and exceptional land among the rest, which gives a certain uniqueness that makes it unique. Not so. But if it is a wine very well done. It is a mixture of 24 vines Viura (as it is called Maccabeus Rioja) spread over different municipalities of Rioja. The wine is fermented in oak barrels and then end up making the final blend. The result is a very elegant and balanced wine, where the nose stands out for its openness and complexity: notes of ripe white fruit (apple baked), citrus (lemon), clear aromas of white flowers, souvenirs dairy (butter) and pastries, on a background of minerals and iodine notes (hot stone). The palate is spectacular, has a soft and voluptuous entrance with a silky, elegant, where every nuance melt. It has some weight on the palate, creamy feel but is balanced by good acidity that gives it depth and persistence. Long finish with clear saline pleasant memories.
All this complexity, with good structure having, suggests that will eventually even better. A great white Rioja at a good price: € 13.50 Finally, only comment that the tastings Taca de vi done, this wine is one of the regulars, as it breaks the stereotype that only in Rioja wines are made reds. Normally the pair with the Bauma Garrotxa, Berguedà cheese, made with pasteurized goat milk and fits perfectly with the wine.