El Coto was founded in 1970 in Rioja Alavesa and has grown from modest beginnings into one of the best known Rioja producers. Today El Coto has over 700 hectares of vineyard in production across the three Rioja DOCa sub-zones of Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. They also source grapes from all three areas, but mostly from Rioja Alavesa. Head winemaker César Fernandez oversees production, starting with hand-picking into 350 kg crates to ensure the grapes arrive at the winery in pristine condition. Modern and intelligently designed, the emphasis in the winery is on temperature control and gentle handling of the grapes.
The Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc grapes were sourced from the high-altitude vineyards in Rioja Baja, vineyards are over 750 metres above sea level. The Viura grapes were mainly sourced from Rioja Alta, from limestone and clay soils.
Spring and summer were very warm, and as a result, harvest started 15 days earlier than the previous year and finished before the end of September. Weather in September was exceptionally cold and dry, with temperatures more than 2ºC lower than the past 10 years. This allowed the grapes to mature slowly and in perfect health until harvest.
The Rioja Blanco is fermented at 14-18ºC in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, to preserve aromas and retain freshness. No malolactic fermentation is allowed to take place and the wine is bottled without ageing to maximise freshness and crisp acidity.
Pale yellow in colour, the wine is dry and fresh on the palate with aromas of peaches, apples, citrus and tropical fruits. The finish is fresh and fruity with hints of melon. This is a zingy, lively wine.