Bodegas Contador Predicador Blanco 2014, DOCa Rioja, Spain

In 1995 Benjamin Romeo, winemaker and vine-grower, acquired a centuries-old cave hewn into the rock beneath the Castle of San Vincente de la Sonsierra (Rioja). Predicador, or “Preacher,” named after Clint Eastwood’s everyman character in the 1985 film Pale Rider, is a wine composed of 49 percent Viura, 40 percent Garnacha blanca and 11 percent Malvasia. The grapes are sourced from ten different plots within San Vicente and Briones in Rioja Alta, which on average yield less than 1.5 kg per vine:. The maceration lasts three days, and after barrel fermentation the wine is aged for eight months in 30 percent new and 70 percent conditioned barrels. The cold soak and short-oak contact yield floral notes of Acacia and dried orange peel. They commingle with musque melón in the aromatics and flavors of green apple, ripe pear, vanilla, honeycomb and hay on the palate.