Looking for White Rioja recs

Just posted a TN for 1998 Lopez de Heredia Blanco Reserva. It was my first experience with a serious aged white Rioja, and I really enjoyed it. So I went to WineSearcher to look at some high quality bottlings and DAMN are these expensive!!! That 1998 I opened is a $150 bottle- I had no idea when I opened it… The Gran Reserva is more than double that for the 2001 (current release). The legendary Ygay GR is over $600. YIKES!

There are of course, oceans of crappy cheap white wine from Rioja. But I’m looking for high quality white Rioja. There don’t seem to be all that many producers. Does anyone here have recommendations? And preferably something a bit more affordable?

Thanks!
Noah

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Gravonia is pretty fantastic too. Some people even prefer it.

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Remelluri is high quality for sure but stylistically obviously something very different. I’m a big fan.

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I love Remelluri.

Bodegas Santalba Rioja Abando Blanco Is a nice daily drinker.

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I thought Murrieta Capellania is decent at about 40-50$.

C.V.N.E. Rioja Monopole Clásico

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Never had the Murrieta Capellania, Remulluri, or Bodegas Santalba. I’ll look into those.
I’ve had the Gravonia. It was good, though didn’t blow my socks off.

I’ve had several people recommend the CVNE Monopole Clasico to me in the past. I tried it a few times and always had the same thought: Meh…It’s not bad, but I didn’t think it was anything special. Maybe I need to try an aged version- not sure where to get one though.

Anyway, thanks for all the recommendations. Keep 'em coming if there are any more. The fact that there were only a small handful of recs seems to confirm that there just aren’t that many quality white Riojas out there.

Monopole Clasico is really good, but it’s still a $20-$25 wine released at 3 years old, not something that’s going to make you forget a Lopez gran reserva.

True. I’ve never had a LdH gran reserva, though. The wine that prompted this post was a 1998 Tondonia Reserva. I’d love to try a gran reserva, but these bottles are so hard to track down and $$$$ if you do.

But, interestingly, I was able to purchase a single bottle of 2014 CVNE Monopole Gran Reserva. I understand the 2014, released in 2021, is the first time this wine has ever been produced. There’s only a single tasting note on CellarTracker, but it’s a good one. I’ll receive the bottle this fall. Not sure when I should open it though!

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I saw a bottle of 1981 Tondonia GR Blanco for $1000 yesterday. It’s a great wine, still drinking quite young, but that’s nuts. Personally I like it much more than Ygay, also very expensive.

I recommend the Gravonia recommendation.

I haven’t really found a substitute for the LdH whites.

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Is the monopole Classico aged in sherry? Thought I saw that and was a bit turned off

C.V.N.E. Rioja Monopole Clásico
“Grape Varieties: Viura with a small amount of Palomino
Softly pressed, as in the 60s, the must goes into concrete tanks for their debourbage; then into stainless steel tanks for the alcoholic fermentation. Once this is completed, the wine will go with its lees into vats and botas of 300 lts and 500 lts that have been previously used by two, three or more wines. The wine ages in these recipients for around 8 months.
The uniqueness of this wine lies in the contribution of a small quantity of manzanilla, developed by the traditional method of biological crianza under velo de flor.”

As a budget-oriented daily drinker: Muga Rioja Blanco (not complex, but delicious, very good qpr for about 10-12 EUR)

Bought a bottle of 2017 Remelluri on this recommendation and finally popped the cork tonight. What a wine! Thank you so much for the rec. I really wish high quality white Rioja was more common. There are (a very few) just beautiful examples. My TN from CellarTrack:

"Youthful gold appearance. Focused but lifted lemons, key lime, maybe some cantaloupe. Subtle but perceptible oak that is well integrated. There’s a fascinating scent that reminds me of graham cracker pie crust that I really like. Medium to full bodied on the palate, high acidity, fills the mouth with cooked lemon flavors. I recently tried candied orange and lemon peels for the first time, and there is definitely an element of those types of flavors without the overt sweetness. Other reviewers have commented on the wine’s creaminess, and that is definitely a notable feature of the mouthfeel. It rides the line between being lively/energetic and rich even a bit viscous. Long complex finish that is very enjoyable. This wine is still primary, feels like will improve for years to come.

I’m not very experienced in high quality white Rioja; there isn’t a lot out there, after all. My standard has been the Lopez de Heredia Reserva Tondonia Blanco (GR is a bit too rich for my blood) and that is an entirely different beast than this. The LdH is wild, oxidative, wholly unique. This is much more restrained, not oxidative in the least, and to me, tastes very much like a top quality Cote de Beaune white Burgundy. The wine looks the part too, with its Burgundy bottle shape and the separate small vintage label on the neck.

This wine and the LdH Blanco are the bookends of the quality white Rioja spectrum. I wish there were more examples of this category out there. Wonderful."

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Happy to hear it delivered! It was a revelation for me when I first had it but after some research I came to a conclusion that it is likely a pretty singular wine in the region, like LdH’s whites but indeed in a wildly different style. Had it again this year in a restaurant nearby and was happy to see that it is still awesome and the price hasn’t seemingly moved (unlike for everything else), pair less than 100€ off the list.

This isn’t a category I care for much, but the 2021 Monte Clavijo ‘blanco’ [Rioja] is an eminently serviceable, lighter bodied white suitable for summer sipping. It’s mostly viura, with some tempranillo blanco, and the label promises 12.5% abv along with citrus and white peaches. I found it to have some zip and lemony flavors, but none of the professed white stone fruit flavors. The screwcapper is inexpensive, and worth trying for those who enjoy sauvignon blancs, or prefer a modern/clean Spanish white. Unfortunately, I have learned to be suspicious with the regions whites, since nutty / sherry flavors are not to my taste. I would note that quality wise, it’s unlikely that Berzerkers would group this in the same cohort as aforementioned names, but it should also be broadly available at any TW.