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Bhilar "Thousand Mils" Rioja Blanco

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Country/State Spain

Region Rioja

Subregion Rioja Alavesa

Vineyard/Proprietary Thousand Mils

Type Viura

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Dear Terroirphiles–

Here is a stunning white wine, and a rare creation. I urge you to try even just one bottle, because it’s amazing.

Bhilar is the winery of husband David Sampedro and wife Melaine Hickman. David comes from Rioja and Melaine from the U.S. They met in Barcelona and fell in love – with each other and making wine. David had grown up in the vineyards, and always wanted to do his own winery focused on the old bush vines of Rioja. Melaine, a wine lover at the start, is now fully part of making wine.

I think their wines, top to bottom, are highly engaging on every level – intellectual as well as hedonistic pleasure. And they are a winery that continues to grow and learn at every level as well. This project is homage to the classical Rioja aging method of aging years in the barrel before release. And this wine is nothing short of stunning:

It is 80% Viura, 10% Garnacha Blanc and 10% Malvasia aged for four years in 100% old French oak barrels. As the winery notes, it is layered, textured, unique and unforgettable. I’ve drunk two bottles now, and that is exactly the case. The nose is all savory – almonds, exotic savory spices, touches of dried flowers, and more. It’s really quite hard to pin down. It smells of delicious old-school white Rioja but without any funk. The palate is layered and rich but not oaky rich, just deeply layered because of the passage of time. The finish is tremendous, incredibly fresh and extremely long.

I love all of their wines so much that this is the second email on them this week. But for you who love terroir-driven wines, I wanted to give exclusive access to this gem.