Light, floral, crisp and fruity€”this Spanish white has everything you want in a summer wine.

Spain’s Rioja (that’s REE-HO-HAH) is well known as a region producing age-worthy and elegant red wines, but about 10 percent of the area’s production is white, and that’s where some of the wine world’s great bargains lurk. The predominant grape is the little-known viura and in Rioja it produces two radically different, though equally compelling, styles. The first is fresh and lively, wonderfully described by the New York Times’ Eric Asimov as “like pinot grigio with a brain.” The above wine from legendary producer CVNE (pronounced Coo-Nay) falls into this category, and its light floral and crisp fresh pear and apples make it one of the early candidates for the wine of summer—and at $19 it’s a steal to boot. Up the price ladder (but also a relative bargain in its own right) is the López de Heredia Reserva Blanco 2001, which at $52 represents the second style: gold-coloured and creamy with notes of almonds and honey. It’s a big, chewy 15-year-old white wine, perfect for when a huge summer storm blows in.

CVNE Monopole White 2015, $19

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