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Remelluri Rioja Blanco 2013

Other White Blends from Rioja, Spain
  • RP92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Complex aromas of herbs and spices with the palate showing a dense quality. Finishes long with great staying potential.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2013 was a challenging vintage in Rioja for reds and that's what got stuck in the collective memory, but it somehow seems to be much better for whites. The 2013 Blanco from Remelluri is one of the best vintages ever produced. This has always been a blend of nine different grape varieties with the idea that the blend would erase the imprint from each variety and would show the character of the place. The white varieties are always planted in the poorer, whiter soils, and in this case also the higher altitude places, where the soils are shallow and rich in marls and sandstone. It fermented in small stainless steel and oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in oak barrel for one year. The nose is slightly oaky with a core of flowers, pollen, orange peel, spices and wet chalk. The palate shows good freshness and it's very tasty, with salty, chalky minerality. This is fine and elegant. There is some creaminess, perhaps not as crisp as I expected for the vintage. From 2013 onward, all of the Remelluri vineyards are organically certified. Some 6,000 bottles were filled in May 2015.
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Remelluri

Remelluri

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Remelluri, Rioja, Spain
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The Remelluri estate’s origins date back to the 14th century when monks from the Toloño monastery founded a sanctuary and farm at the site. The monks later abandoned the site but local hermits continued to maintain the shrine while the Real Divisa, a local community organization, maintained the farms to accommodate the needs of pilgrims who came to pray at the sanctuary. The estate was eventually split up and sold. The modern winery was established in 1967 when Jaime Rodríguez Salis purchased the vineyards at the heart of the former estate. Since then Remelluri has been devoted to recovering the old lands of this historic site and restoring the original vineyards.

Remelluri’s vineyards are located along the slopes of the Sierra de Toloño mountains in the valleys of Valderemelluri, La Granja and Villaescusa. The vineyards here are at the highest elevation in the region, south-facing and protected from the prevailing winds and frost. It is the unique microclimate of this area that gives the wines of Remelluri their personality.

Poor, stoney soil with layers of clay help to retain freshness while the Atlantic influence provides abundant rainfall and lower temperatures than there are in the rest of the region. The alternation of cool nights and hot days offers ideal conditions for proper phenolic ripening of Tempranillo.

Organic farming principles have always been utilized to ensure that the wines remain true to this unique terruño. Remelluri also uses an integrated system of agriculture with great respect for the environment. Hedges and plantations are maintained and nurtured. Trees are planted to complement the vineyard; almond, peach, fig and above all olive trees, which also facilitate pollination, as the flowers attract bees.

After years of perfecting his craft and gaining international recognition for his winemaking abilities, Telmo Rodríguez has returned to his family winery. Telmo seeks to remain true to his family estate’s vaunted history while guiding it into a bright tomorrow.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Other White Blends

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With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

EWLSPREMBLC13_2013 Item# 165947