2018 El Coto “Blanco”, Rioja, Spain (Alcohol 11.9%, Residual Sugar 6 g/L) LCBO Vintages $14.95 (750ml bottle)

I’ve been bemoaning the lack of modern fresh white wine from Spain in the LCBO for quite some time, and so this fantastic value bottle being released on June 8th of this year (next week!) really took my fancy, especially as I had arranged to cook an octopus paella on the evening I decided to crack it open.

Comprised of 100% Viura (AKA Macabeau), this is a simple, contemporary, well-made example of the kind of wine I would love to drink every day for lunch if my other half allowed me to do so… but she kind of frowns upon lunchtime drinking. I tell her that the Europeans do it all the time, but to no avail, as she is set in her ways when it comes to such matters.

Nevertheless, this is a most enjoyable glass of crunchy, crisp, clean-cut, gluggable fun that it would be quite hard to find fault with. Most enjoyable aromatics of pear and apple dominate, with a lemon zestiness coming through in the mouth, none of these primary characteristics being crowded out by the (often clumsy) oak influence that White Rioja was known for in decades past. The acid dances around in the mouth making it the perfect foil for simple grilled seafood given just a splash of olive oil and lemon and a generous sprinkling of salt. 

As is the case with many a hyper-modern white, upon opening the wine appears a little reductive, but after the first glass you hopefully won’t really be noticing any of that.

Definitely worth every penny of your $14.95… I just wish I could have some for lunch today…

3.5 apples out of 5
(Three and half apples out of a possible five)


El Coto de Rioja are represented in Ontario by Noble Estates.

Noble Estates are a Good Food Fighter.

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Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he does enjoy his crisp Spanish white.