Today’s wine plays homage to the austerity of the rocky limestone soils and old vines planted in the highland limestones of Ábalos. Exopto’s white is a blend of Viura with some 10% Garnacha Blanca and the remaining 5% split between Malvasía Riojana, Jaén Blanca and Torrontés, picked predominantly from white vines that are co-planted in Exopto’s Tempranillo parcels. These white varieties were originally planted amongst the Tempranillo vines as they were more productive and could compensate for the low yields that Tempranillo tended to produce in such poor soils. In addition, the white varieties, more susceptible to disease, were able to predict the likely need for treating the rest of the vineyard. Today the white grapes are separated and put to much better use! From 2017, this wine will be raised in a mixture of concrete egg and 600-litre demi-muid as Puyaubert seeks to capture further mineral salinity and tension in this wine. The 2016 is a wonderful step in this direction. It’s a refined, energetic white Rioja with layered, pulpy, crystalline fruit (think grapefruit, pink salt, preserved lemon, cedar) set within an energetic, chalky structure.