As the sun's out I thought that a quick chat about a refreshing bottle of white might be a good idea. The Izadi Blanco is possibly the best choice for a day like today.
Owned and run by Lalo Anton and his family, 'Izadi', which means 'nature' in the Basque language, is a project established from a passion for gastronomy and wine. The estate was founded in 1987 by Gonzalo Anton, Lalo's father, who at the age of 37 and with a background in restaurants, decided to create his own winery with the aim of producing modern, perfumed, food friendly wines that are true to their roots and a natural expression of the area. As well as the winery, the family also run the Michelin-starred restaurant, Zaldiaran, in nearby Vitoria.
The winery sits in the small village of Villabuena in the Rioja Alavesa, the highest part of the region, at 400-600 metres above sea level. Izadi own 178 hectares of vineyards but also source from an additional 108 hectares. Importantly, whether leased or owned, the old vines have an average age of 45 years. They are located in the triangle formed by the three villages of Villabuena, Samaniego and Abalos. Due to the high altitude, there is a dramatic difference (up to 20°C) in temperature between night and day, which encourages the development of aromatics in the grapes. The distinctive white calcareous soils are mainly planted with old Tempranillo vines, traditionally bush trained for better exposure to the sun and ranging from 30-100 years old. Once picked, the grapes arrive at the bodega, which is on a steep slope with 50 metres of incline. This allows for a gravity-flow winery, ensuring less pumping, which can stress the wines.
Izadi Rioja Blanco 2018 @ £13.95 - Buy it here!
This wine is straw yellow in colour with youthful tones. With succulent citrus and yellow stone fruit on both the nose and the palate, this well-balanced wine has good structure and acidity.
Come and get it. Itll make your weekend, I assure you. Cheers!