A fresh and bright Chardonnay blend with a touch of oak
- Producer: Casa La Rad
- Region: DOCa Rioja
- Vintage: 2019
- ABV: 13.5%
- Grape: Chardonnay | Malvasía | Viura
Attractive and bright straw yellow colour with green hues. Subtle and elegant nose with a touch of minerality resulting in a combination of aromas of white flowers and fruit like pears thanks to its ageing on its fine lees. On the palate, this is a refreshing wine with a great body and well-balanced acidity. The wine is fresh, bright and with a long finish.
More about Solarce Blanco
Who makes it
The Casa la Rad vineyard and winery sits just south-east of the city of Logroño in the middle of the Rioja region. The 100 or so hectares are a mixture of free-standing bush and trellised vines, planted across a variety of plots with different soil types, orientations and altitudes.
The estate is part of the Ocón valley which joins the Sierra de Hez mountains – part of the central Iberian range - to the south and the Ebro river to the north, which means the vines are planted at between 600 and 750 metres above sea level making for cooler temperatures and fresher growing conditions.
The vineyard is relatively new and only released its first wines onto the market in 2017. Under the watchful eye of winemaker Marta Gallego, who has worked at various well-known bodegas including the famous Muga, the winery is taking a research-driven approach to their winemaking, experimenting with different soils, altitudes and blends to extract the maximum expression of fruit and terroir from traditional Riojan varieties like Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano or Viura.
Casa La Rad focus on getting the maximum expression of fruit and terroir from traditional Riojan varieties - in this case, estate-grown Viura, Malvasia and Chardonnay. harvested from the 100 hectares of vineyard in the village of Ausejo in DOCa Rioja.Viura (aka Macabeo in Catalunya) is Spain’s fifth-most widely planted grape. It's a productive variety and is fairly adaptable, so is often seen in blends. Viura brings aromas of white fruit coupled with floral and sometimes aniseed notes.Malvasía is often associated with the Canary Islands but is also used in Rioja and Catalunya. It can give lovely floral aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle, and notes of stone and exotic fruit like apricot or mango coupled with occasional light aromas of cut grass.
Although not a local grape, Chardonnay adapts well to a good number of Spain’s wine growing regions. In cooler climates it’s usually associated with melon, apple or grapefruit flavours, while the warmer you get it can take on more tropical fruit notes of peach, mango, pineapple or lime.
Where it's made
Rioja is one of Spain’s best known and best-loved wine regions and is on a par with renowned wine-producing regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy in France, or Barolo in northern Italy.
Sitting in the north of Spain, Rioja runs about 100 km from West to East and 40 km North to South, centred around the city of Logroño. The Ebro river runs through it from West to East. Rioja has just over 66,000 hectares of vineyards, which is about 7% of the Spanish total. In that area you'll find about 14,800 farmers who grow grapes which they then sell on to about 574 actual wine producers.
Traditionally, winemaking in Rioja has put a big focus on blending – mixing together grapes grown in different zones of the region to achieve balanced wines. But in recent years, Riojan producers are lobbying for changes to the rules to allow wine labels to include more specific references to where within Rioja the wines actually come from. It’s a move towards the more terroir-focused approach, used in lots of the other great wine regions of the world.
How it's made
The grapes are selected in the field and later in the cellar to ensure optimum fruit, before going into stainless steel tanks to be fermented. Once fermentation is complete, one-tenth of the wine is aged for 6 months in 500-litre French and American oak barrels before blending and bottling.