In a nutshell: Award-winning white Rioja, a blend of Viura and Chardonnay fermented and then aged in oak barriques.
The lowdown: White riojas, while seen less than their red counterparts, are made in a varierty of styles and are certainly worth looking out for. After fermentation it spends six months in oak to add the roundedness and subtly creamy quality that this style aims at. The expressive aromas and flavours including zingy lemon and grapefuit, along with smooth vanilla spice are the result and makes a very well balanced wine with a liong citrus finish.
When to drink: A rewarding barrel aged white that works really well with rice and fish dishes.
On the border between Rioja and Navarre, Victor Fernádez de Manzanos carries on the work of the four generations before him. Adding in significant amounts of ambition and energy, he is at the forefront of the new Rioja championing a modern interpretation of its varieties through his wines. Since 2010 the business has been run by Victor, his wife Laura and his brother David. Between them they've transformed the company, bringing it squarely into the 21st century while retaining all the best apsects built up by the earlier generations.
As a grower, Victor is keen to prove that Rioja Baja has its own distinct character and should not be judged as inferior to Rioja Alta or Alavesa - just different. With over 250ha of owned vineyards at his disposal, including what he claims to be the oldest Graciano vines in the world, Victor and the team at Manzanos are fortunately placed to put both the sub-region and the name Manzanos firmly on the map of the most important producers in Rioja.
The family cultivates the traditional varietals of Rioja - Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuelo and Viura - and craft wines with a real sense of place and authenticity.
The vines are planted on clay-limestone soil, at an average height of 400m. The extreme climate, wet and cold winters combined with dry hot summers, offer the perfect conditions for the production of great wines.