Vina Otano Barrel Fermented

"Ripe tangerine, pear, vanilla and toasty lees on the nose; a hint of minerality adds vibrancy. Dry and seamless on the palate, offering concentrated orchard fruit, honey and toasted brioche flavors" —
Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media
Rioja D.O.Ca.
75% Viura and 25% White Tempranillo, from a single 90 year old estate-grown vineyard
625 meters / calcareous clay
Farming Methods
Sustainable methods
Hand harvested into small boxes
Grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed prior to fermentation in French oak barrels
Following fermentation, the wine was aged for a further 4 months in barrel prior to bottling
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Name
Vina Otano Barrel Fermented 2016
90 (W&S) 90 (VM) 90 (IWR) 89 (VfC) 89 (I-WR)
Score Publication Review Copy
90 Wine & Spirits Magazine Scents of beeswax and smoke introduce this wine, its oak tannins adding a nutty richness while the saltiness and acidity keep it lively. Pale, round and pleasantly buttery, this will meld with white sausages and butter beans.
December 2018 Year's Best
90 Vinous Media Pale green-hued gold. Oak-spiced orchard and pit fruits and a suggestion of vanilla on the perfumed nose. Pliant, appealingly sweet pear and peach flavors are firmed by a jolt of bitter quinine. The vanilla note recurs on a very long, smooth finish that leaves sweet pear nectar and orange notes behind. The oak here is quite well-judged.
"Rioja Looks Back and Ahead" - February 21, 2019
90 International Wine Report The 2016 'Barrel Fermented' Rioja Blanco offers a lovely nose of pear and gooseberry aromatics. A silky mouthfeel fills the palate with bright starfruit, pear and lighter cut grass flavors. Bright, with a good minerality, this is an outstanding value Blanco.
June 2018
89 View from the Cellar I had not loved the 2015 version of this wine, but the 2016 is a notable step up and far more interesting. The barrel-fermented version of 2016 Viña Otano Rioja Blanco is a blend of seventy-five percent Viura and twenty-five percent Tempranillo Blanco, with the wine aged for four months in the French wood. Interestingly, only the Viura is barrel-fermented in new casks, while the Tempranillo Blanco is fermented in stainless steel. The new vintage of 2016 offers up a fine nose of yellow fruit, white soils, a bit of citrus peel, wild fennel and a gentle base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied, young and nicely balanced, with good acids, fine focus and grip and a long, still quite primary finish. This is quite tasty today, but only hints at the complexity to come with bottle age. Good juice. 2018-2035.
Issue #75 – May/June 2018
89 International Wine Review A blend of 75% Viura and 25% Tempranillo Blanco sourced from a single 90 year-old vineyard. The Viura is fermented and aged in new lightly toasted French oak barrels. The wine shows excellent concentration with a rich lingering extract. Lovely white cherry and almond-vanilla flavors. Firm tannins on the finish.A 100% Viura from estate vineyards averaging 30 years-old. Fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, it displays a star bright, light yellow straw robe and is fresh and bright with a floral nose. It’s crisp and fruity with a clean finish with lingering fruit flavors.
"Spanish Wines of Value and Quality" - June 20, 2019
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Vina Otano Barrel Fermented 2017
92 (WRO) 91 (WB) 90 (VfC) 90 (VM)
Score Publication Review Copy
92 Wine Review Online I needed a second look at this wine for the simple reason that, when I first tasted it, I was enraptured by the 2010 Gran Reserva Blanco from this house that I opened at the same time, and rendered incapable of thinking about anything else. Tasted again in a more balanced frame of mind, I find this entirely delicious and very versatile, working well as a sipping wine (which is to say, not too much oak, which is the signature but also the Achilles Heel of Rioja wines, whether red or white) but also as a partner for a wide range of foods. Aromatically, it shows stone fruit and melon scents with nice accents from oak spice, along with suggestions of nuttiness and vanilla that are also attributable to the cooperage, with the wood scents neither too faint nor too prominent. Medium-bodied, with a nicely rounded palate feel that benefits from a bit of framing thanks to wood tannins that are well measured and nicely integrated, this offers complex texture from when it hits one’s tongue to the end of the wine’s finish. The fruit isn’t overwhelmed at any point, and there’s a suggestion of mango or pineapple that shows up alongside the stone fruit and melon notes that first show up in the bouquet. This is comprised of a blend of 75% Viura and 25% Tempranillo, though I can’t say whether it is the white mutation of Tempranillo (which is a thing) or the black-skinned version that had the juice pressed off the skins immediately. That doesn’t much matter — the wine is delicious and supremely versatile.
Michael Franz - February 23, 2021
91 Washington Wine Blog The 2017 Vina Otano ‘Barrel Fermented’ Rioja Blanco shows off its silky texture and great sense of mouthfeel. Layers of salted Macadamia nut and cantaloupe combine with shades of nutmeg, sourdough bread and a light dusting of white pepper. Every bit outstanding to enjoy in its youth, the ‘Barrel Fermented’ Rioja Blanco will enjoy another ten years of life ahead of it. Drink 2020-2028.
Dr. Owen J. Bargreen, CS - July 2020
90 View from the Cellar The 2017 Rioja “Barrel Fermented” Blanco from Viña Otano is made from a blend of seventy-five percent Viura and twenty-five percent Tempranillo Blanco. Both grapes hail from the same vineyard, with the vines ninety years of age! The wine is fermented in new French cask and then raised in the same barrels for four months of its elevage. The 2017 version comes in at a cool 12.5 percent alcohol and delivers a fine, youthful nose of lemon, salty soil tones, fresh almond, white flowers and a discreet framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is crisp, young, full-bodied and very suave on the attack, with a good core, fine focus and balance and a long, vibrant and promising finish. This is still quite a primary wine and more complexity will emerge with some bottle age. Fine juice. 2020-2045.
Issue #86 - March/April 2020
90 Vinous Media Pale yellow. Pungent citrus pith, peach pit and chamomile scents, along with a subtle fennel nuance. Chewy and well-concentrated, offering juicy Meyer lemon and white peach flavors that slowly firm up through the midpalate. Floral and vanilla notes linger on the persistent finish, which shows very good energy and gentle grip. 2021 – 2024
Josh Raynolds - April 2021
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Vina Otano Barrel Fermented 2018
91 (VfC) 89 (WE)
Score Publication Review Copy
91 View from the Cellar The 2018 Rioja Blanco “Barrel Fermented” from Viña Otano is composed of a cépages of seventy-five percent Viura and twenty-five percent Tempranillo Blanco, with the two varieties hailing from the same ninety year-old vineyard! The wine is barrel-fermented in new French oak casks and then aged in the same barrels for six months prior to bottling. The 2018 version comes in at a svelte 12.5 percent alcohol and offers up a lovely young nose of lemon, tart pear, a lovely base of white soil tones, raw almond and a discreet framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and crisp, with a good core of fruit, fine soil undertow, good framing acids and a long, well-balanced finish. This is a good bottle that is tasty today, but is built to age and will gain in complexity with three to five years in the cellar. 2022-2040.
John Gilman; Issue #98 - March/April 2022
89 Wine Enthusiast Medium-straw to the eye, this wine has a nose of Bartlett pear and lemon zest. It fills the mouth with flavors of lemon-lime and pineapple, backed by notes of custard and anise. A note of eucalyptus rides through from first sip to toasty finish.
M.D . - Best of the Year 2022
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Vina Otano Barrel Fermented 2019
87+ (VfC)
Score Publication Review Copy
87+ View from the Cellar The 2019 vintage of Barrel Fermented Rioja Blanco from Viña Otano is composed from its customary cépages of seventy-five percent Viura and twenty-five percent Tempranillo Blanco. These are both planted in the same, ninety year-old vineyard and the wine is barrel-fermented and aged for four months in cask prior to bottling. The wine offers up a fine aromatic constellation of white peach, apple, fruit blossoms, raw almond, a lovely base of soil and a nice touch of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and still fairly new oaky in personality, with good depth at the core, fine focus and a long, well-balanced finish. The oak treatment this year seems to have made the wine just a touch more one-dimensional on the palate than would be ideal, though it is certainly tasty. It is not a bad wine, but I have liked the last few vintages of this bottling decidedly better. 2023-2030+.
John Gilman - Issue #103 January/February 2023.
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