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|Viña Caña (Spain) Rioja Blanco 2002
White Rioja is a pretty rare beast on most supermarket shelves, and indeed, many old-fashioned Blancos can be a bit of an acquired taste, with a heavily oxidised character that can make them taste almost like Fino Sherry. There is no sign of that here however, in this thoroughly modern and very delicious wine from Viña Caña. On the nose it is beautifully fresh and lemony, but with a touch of creamy, oaty quality and just the merest sheen of vanilla. On the palate it is quite full bodied and powerful, with a wonderful, juicy, zesty fruit character shot through with crisp citrus flavours, but also rounded-out with leesy richness and a big, generous mandarin orange and grapefruit acidity. It is a very complete, harmonious wine, with the vivacity of a Sauvignon Blanc, but the mouthfeel of a lightly-oaked Chardonnay. Lovely stuff and well priced too.