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PEDRO BALLESTEROS – Rioja’s Premium whites

100 kilometers of diversity according to four prestigious Masters of Wine, Tim Atkin, Pedro Ballesteros, Sarah Jane Evans and Andreas Kubach told their impressions about Rioja and tasted some Rioja wines at Prowine Germany.



“Rioja is the fusion of climates, valleys, towns, landscapes, grape varieties and wine styles, making it a special place in comparison to other wine regions.”


For some time the MW Pedro Ballesteros has been dazzled by the Rioja whites, not as well known as the reds but always brilliant and exceptional.


In his session, Ballesteros stressed that the Denomination is located in a magical enclave for the production of high-quality wines, covering both banks of the Ebro River and delimited by the Sierra de Cantabria and the Sierra de la Demanda, which protect it from the elements. atmospheric conditions and causes the Atlantic and Mediterranean climates to converge. “This makes Rioja a land of wines of all colors.”



Ballesteros explained the greatness of these white wines through their history. “Both in white and red, the vocation of the best Riojas is to excel over time. You can still taste Rioja white wines from a century ago, some of them in top form. An exemplary white Rioja is not, in its youth, aromatic or voluminous. On the contrary, they are wines of elegant austerity, well armed but soft”.



Reference to the wines tasted in the Pedro Ballesteros MW seminar:

  • Marqués de Murrieta, Capellanía 2018: Capellanía is a subtle and complex wine. It shows the traditions of Rioja and becomes a very refined wine, made after a long aging in French barrels. An inimitable blend of a unique vineyard and exceptional wisdom.
  • Bodegas y Viñedos Tobelos, Los Quiñones, Rioja (Singular Vineyard), 2019: A great example of a Rioja Alavesa white, and one of the first official Singular Vineyards in the region. With its own character and great concentration. Careful preparation, with ripe fruit that dominates the influence of oak, soft fruit bitterness and a certain bite. It can be kept, as it will gain in complexity.
  • Bodegas Ojuel, Oxuel Carrasojuela 2021: A 100% expressive wine. Reference point for the recovery of old vines of various autochthonous varieties. The careful aging in new acacia barrels and the low sulfur addition make this a pure and intriguingly complex wine, highly enjoyable from its youth.
  • Bodega Contador, Qué Bonito Cacareaba 2020: A blend of the most traditional white varieties of Rioja: Viura, Garnacha blanca and Malvasía, from vineyards worked biodynamically in San Vicente de la Sonsierra. With aroma of ripe fruit and a great extract, powerful but structured, long and original.