Two white wines: Monopole and Monopole Clásico.
What’s the difference?
You probably know the brand Monopole as a white wine, a true icon of Rioja that has beed made since 1915. Many winelovers like its value, its fine aroma and fruity flavour. What not many people know is Monopole Clásico, a brand reborn a few years ago with one of the most charming stories behind.
Notice, after reading this you will look differently at Riojan white wines and you will definetely want to taste Monopole Clásico.
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.
Get into the entire story and notes by Luis Gutiérrez (Parker) at CVNE