Bodegas Valdelana Rioja VI-VE 2022

VI-VE Rioja is made by Juan and Judit Valdelana — the 14th generation of the family to work at the estate. For them, it is a tribute to all the winegrowers — but especially their grandfather, Isidoro — who, for years, have been working the land in Rioja Alavesa. VI-VE is an acronym that is on all the tractor plates in the region: VI for Vitoria (the capital of Basque Country) and VE (Vehículo Especial/Special Vehicle). From his first day working in the winery, Juan dreamed of making a traditional village wine with minimal intervention like those of his grandfather. 

VI-VE is the realization of that dream. To create this wine, Juan utilized the old-school technique of carbonic maceration: whole grape clusters are vinified together without destemming, crushing, pressing or additions of any sort. Of course, it helps that not only does Juan have the guidance of his esteemed father, Juan Jesús Valdelana, but also the inspiration from his grandfather, Isidoro! 

The result is a fruit-filled, juicy red wine that is bright and a perfect homage to the way previous generations crafted wines from the special terroir of Rioja Alavesa.  The nose is vibrant, exhibiting aromas of fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries alongside notes of red flowers and licorice. The palate is fruit-forward, juicy, lively and full of energy. Flavours of candied berries, fresh cherries and red plums explode in the mouth, balanced by a soft mouthfeel and integrated acidity that pirouette into a smooth, refreshing finish. Enjoy with a plate of cured meats — including jamón, of course — assorted cheeses and a loaf of fresh-baked bread: perfect! 

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