Viura is a mostly Spanish grape varietal (you may also see it called Macabeo). This particular wine, Cortija III Blanco, hails from Rioja, which is most known for its red blends.
Cortija viura is a fairly light wine with a slightly grassy taste and a lightly, for lack of a better term, astringent finish. It certainly has a bit of acidity. If there is ever a wine that should have the word summer associated with it is this wine. It is a nice light wine without pretension and without a great deal of complexity. The label says the wine is “medium bodied.” Buy it, taste it and you tell me if it is medium bodied. This isn’t a knock. Light wines can be great.
It isn’t big, it isn’t bold it doesn’t have dozens of flavors roaming around in the glass but it is nice served super cold as the temperature starts to inch upward. There is zero oakiness and the grapes come from 40 year old vines. Since I look out the window in Chicago and finally see people not wearing jackets? This might be a go to wine even in the frozen north.
If the name of the varietal seems familiar it is one of the components of the Spanish sparkling wine, Cava. It is apparently used making a particular fortified wine (similar to a sherry or port).
That WAS some time ago, of course, but when you think of Spanish wines it is still likely your mind wanders to red first. Things have changed though and there are Spanish whites worth your notice (and they are not all albarinos). Part of this prejudice against Spanish wines might be that the focus was on the reds and we didn’t see as much of the white as we have been over the past few years.
To make up for my slights against Spanish white wine we will be chatting about some others here soon. In the meantime this one is a pretty solid summer wine, especially for the price.