Contino 2017/ 2018 Contino Blanco 750ml
The white 2018 Blanco wants to go to the traditional style of Rioja, with aging potential and balance. It's 90% Viura and 10% Garnacha Blanca with 12.62% alcohol and a pH of 3.2, so quite fresh and with moderate alcohol reflecting the cooler vintage. It fermented in stainless steel and two concrete eggs and matured in 400- and 500-liter barriques but with 30% of the volume kept unoaked in concrete. Making a white has always been a challenge at Contino because the place is warm, and I think this 2018 is the finest white produced at the property since they started with something almost experimental in 2004. There are white grapes spread throughout the property, and for this wine, they used mostly grapes from a plot that has some of the oldest vines. 2018 is a cooler year, and the wine has a lot less oak than in previous vintages. Also, to keep some extra freshness, it didn't go through malolactic. It has a nose of aromatic herbs and waxy apples, following the 2017 that was the first wine produced by the new technical team. The palate is fresh and shows some austerity, more elegant than powerful, and it's quite long.
Score: 92 points -- Luis Gutierrrez, The Wine Advocate, 2020