Hello friends. One of our biggest hits of last summer was a $20 3L Bag-in-Box from La Nevera in Rioja. I recently had the chance to try the other two wines in the lineup, and I just found myself shaking my head and chuckling. These are ridiculous values, and I’m convinced this packaging is going to own the future.
So today we head back to La Nevera, with a chance to access the Blanco and the Tinto:
Olé Imports has been a source of many incredible values for us, but perhaps none better than these boxes. You may recall from the Rosdao offer last year that Olé chooses not to put Rioja on the labels because “not showing the name Rioja on the label allows La Nevera to pay a lesser tax making these wines greater values than they otherwise would be.”
Nevertheless, this is indeed from Rioja, and more specifically from a single vineyard in Rioja Alta planted in 1973 and farmed organically at more than 2000 feet. Soils are clay and limestone, and the vineyard looks like this. Those grapes: 100% Viura, the great white of Rioja. After crush, the grapes get five hours of skin contact before pressing into stainless steel, where they age for a whopping two months before going into box.
Listed alc is 12.5%, and this kicks off with a fresh nose of lime and tangerine fruit complicated by salty sea-air. It’s like Viura-meets-Albarino on the nose. And then on the palate it almost drinks like Vinho Verde: clean, green, and pristine. There’s loads of zippy acid, and a lingering, salty, mouthwatering finish that really is more than we have any right to expect out of a twenty-buck box. What a refreshing treat for springtime picnics or road trips, or just to stash away in your fridge for weeks on end. Not to mention one hell of a seared scallop pairing.
What we get for those extra fifty cents: a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Viura from another organically farmed vineyard, this one planted in 1978 at 1800 feet in Rioja Alta (here’s a pic). Soils, as you can see from that picture, are sandy clay.
Treatment for the Tinto resembles the Blanco: just two months in stainless steel before “boxing.” (Although this one sees a full five-day cold soak and then ten days of post-fermentation extended skin maceration). Listed alc here is also 12.5%. The nose is pure and lovely, offering red cherry, earth, and wonderful leafy tones of eucalyptus and tobacco leaf. It’s a clean, complex nose at this price point. “I love subsidized winemaking!” was the first comment from La Nevera’s Seattle rep when we tasted this wine. And it’s true: it seems impossible to imagine this level of quality at this price without some friendly government intervention. For me, this drinks like totally honest young Rioja, like good Joven. It has that familiar leafy/dusty cherry fruit, and brings plenty of pleasure and palate-weight at such a moderate alcohol. I want to put a slight chill on this and order some legit Mexican takeout.
Please limit order request to 6 boxes total (mix and match as you like), and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.