Not Vintage Specific
Item Number: 24569
John Gilman 93+
"For decades, this bottling was produced with fifteen percent Manzanilla added into the blend just after the completion of fermentation, with the remainder of the cuvée made up entirely of Viura. It was extremely popular in its day in Spain, but as fashion changed in the 1980s, the bodegas discontinued the practice of making this wine with the addition of Manzanilla. In 2014, they have happily decided to produce a very limited quantity of the old style Monopole, which they have dubbed “Clasico” to denote the addition once again of Manzanilla in the blend. This is a terrific wine that is still very youthful and will age with great style. The nascently complex bouquet offers up a fine blend of lemon, white peach, salty soil tones, Manzanilla nuttiness and a topnote of orange peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and focused, with a fine core, lovely emerging complexity, a fine base of soil and a very long, zesty and still quite primary finish. This superb wine will probably last forty years or more and I would be inclined to give it five years in the cellar to really let it blossom and start to show its secondary layers of complexity. It is one of the most unique and compelling white wines I have tasted from the Rioja region...”
Wine Advocate 91-93
"I was thinking "I wish this wine went back to the more serious bottlings of 40 and 50 years ago..." when tasting the regular Monopole, and they showed me this 2014 Monopole Clásico, which is a wine to celebrate the centenary of the brand (registered in 1914) and it blew me away. They have produced this wine like it was done in the good old times, adding some Manzanilla Sherry (yes, yes, you read it correctly); they top up the Viura with Manzanilla purchased from the Hidalgo family of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Not only did they add the wine, they purchased the wine in bota, so the wine is also aged in Sherry casks. It does have an amazing nose with notes of sea breeze, iodine and esparto grass. The palate is extremely tasty, but at the same time is light and fresh, with the acidity of Viura and the kick and pungency from Manzanilla. Awesome! This will be bottled in a couple of months, but I couldn't help reporting on it. It will wear the old Monopole label. It won't be a one off for the centenary, they will keep producing it every vintage. Welcome back, Monopole! 30,000 bottles produced in this first vintage."
James Suckling 93
"What a wonderful white with praline, cooked pineapple, pear and lemon. Full body, very flavorful and crisp finish. So creamy and fascinating. 15% Manzanilla in the blend. Drink now"
Some years ago, during a tasting at our winery, a participant asked about our old style Monopole. This wine had a lengthy barrel ageing in old oak and a profile contrary to the modern, fruity whites made mostly everywhere nowadays.
This gentleman had fond memories of this wine. Sure, he liked the current Monopole, but he missed that old style.
From the early 20th century to the 70s, Monopole was a staple of homes and restaurants across Spain. It was one of CVNE’s main wines. Sadly, fashion turned against it, sales fell, and production in this style ceased in the 80s.
Fresh, fine, bone dry, this wine had the peculiarity and originality of having some barrel ageing with a percentage of Sherry wine, with written permission from the Rioja appellation. The Sherry added structure to the Rioja white, while they both integrated harmoniously in barrel and later in bottle.
A bottle of this old Monopole was searched for in the Haro winery’s cemetery. A solitary 1979 bottle appeared. The wine was savoury, very fresh, balanced, delicious. On the spot, the decision was made: we would make this wine again, as it had been made historically.
We called Ezequiel Garcia, CVNE winemaker from the 40s until the 70s, to invite him back to help us produce that wine again. Ezequiel, aka ‘the wizard’ and now in his eighties, had no doubts and said Yes straight away.
Monopole Clásico is the story of a remake, 40 years on; this time, with the original director as guest star. And this time, handmade and in small quantities, to best ignore the whims of fashion.
The wines’ ageing contributes to its peculiar organoleptic characteristics, adding aromas of chamomile, dried fruits, and a long and persistent aftertaste. The marked acidity increases Monopole Clásico’s freshness.
Ezequiel´s description of how white wines were produced in the 60s