Monte Belmonte wines: Three wines sure to cure a white wine funk

by Monte Belmonte | Aug 26, 2022

When I go to Pita Pockets in Northampton I always get the shawarma pocket, hot. When I go to Mesa Verde in Greenfield, I always get the blackened chicken burrito with chipotle sour cream. When I go to Captain Jack’s in Easthampton, I always get “Just Clams.” I am a creature of habit. I believe I am not alone.

While I am absolutely not sick of any of my perennial and predictable shawarma, clam, or burrito choices, I do like to change things up when it comes to wine. Though, occasionally, I do get stuck in wine ruts. I had an early Zinfandel phase. A Riesling rut. A cheap sparkling phase. I’m coming out of a non-Pinot Grigio Italian white phase. But I do try to keep an eye open (or, I guess, mouth open) for new and exciting wines to try. Especially, if it’s something I’ve rarely or never tasted. And most especially if that “unicorn” wine is reasonably priced. During my weekly radio wine-tasting segment with the “Wine Snobs” at State Street in Northampton (Friday mornings at 7:40 on 93.9 The River!) I was excited to try three wines made from grapes that I had either little or absolutely no experience with. And, given that I’m coming out of a non-Pinot Grigio Italian white phase, I was excited that two of them were rare Italian whites. But first, to Spain.

CVNE Monopole white wine

If you are at all familiar with the Spanish wine region of Rioja, your first thought is likely to be “red.” The most common red grape of Rioja being Tempranillo. But Rioja, like most of the famous wine regions of the world, has an overshadowed white wine analog. White Rioja, or Rioja Blancos, is not as common a name in most U.S. households. It’s called Viura. The Viura we tried was from northern Rioja, grown in a town called Haro. Viura is vinified by Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, or C.V.N.E., a fifth-generation, family-run wine company that has been making wine since the late 1800s. They registered their Viura under the name “Monopole” back in 1915, and now boast that they have “the white wine with the oldest registered name in Spain.” They are claiming the monopoly on Monopole.

Lots of white wines have citrus or lemon notes, but I was impressed that this one tasted more like lemon meringue than straight up lemon. And while this wine had a good acidity, the astringent edge was taken off by whatever is making the wine meringue-y. Their winemaker, Ezequiel García, is nicknamed El Brujo which means “The Wizard,” so I’ll assume he is using magic to make the meringue. At an affordable $15.99, this is a low risk wine to get you out of whatever white wine rut you may find yourself in, and get you into a bottle of something new.

Read the full article

Featured wine:

CVNE Monopole – Buy USA

Discover More

Trade Secrets


Bodegas Available for
Export in the US

Bodegas Ontanon
European Cellars/ Eric Solomon Selections
Fine Estates From Spain
Folio Fine Wine Partners
Frederick Wildman & Sons
Grupo Bodegas Faustino
Marques de Riscal
Ole Imports
Opici Wines
Osborne USA
Palm Bay International
Shaw-Ross International Importers
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
The Artisan Collection
The Drink Collective
Vinamericas Selections LLC
Vineyard Brands, Inc.
W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Ltd.
Winebow (MundoVino, a member of The Winebow Group)
Zamora Americas
220 Imports
A.I. Selections
ARAEX/Spanish Fine Wines
Arborway Imports
Ascent Wines
Assa Imports
Astor Wines
Austral Wine Merchants
Aveniu Brands
Baron Francois
BCG Consulting
Bodega Classica/Vintae
Bodegas Castillo de Mendoza
Bodegas Corral, S.A.
Bodegas Medrano Irazu
Bodega Nivarius
Bodegas Ontanon
Bodegas Pastor Diaz
Bodegas Patrocinio, SCL
Bodegas Riojanas
Bodegas Tobia
Bodegas Valdelana
Bon Vivant Imports
Boutique Wine Collection
Bronco Wine Company
C & P WinesBronco Wine Company
Carolina Wine Brands USA
Casa Ventura Imports, Inc.
Cerda y Llanos
Chartrand Imports
Chateau Armand
Classic Wines
Classical Wines from Spain
Cognac One, LLC
Coleccion International Del Vino USA (CIV USA)
Constellation Wines
Constellation Wines
David Bowler Wine
De Maison Selections
DFV Wines
Dionysos Imports
Divino Imports
Domaine Select
Dreyfus Ashby & Co
Eguren Ugarte
Elite Wines
Emporium Nostrum
ENYE Imports Group
Familia Martinez Bujanda
Felix Solis Avantis
Folio Fine Wine Partners
Folio Wine Partners
Francisco Selections, Inc.
Freixenet USA
Frontier Wine Imports
Garnacha Inc
GECO Global Group USA
Golden State Wine Co.
Grapes of Spain
Grupo Bodegas Olarra
Grupo Principe de Viana
H.A.B. North America
HGC Imports Inc.
Hidalgo Imports
HP Selections
International Wine & Spirits
Janet Kafka
Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd.
La Rioja Alta
Laurel Importers
Lionstone International
Lopez de Haro
Luneau USA, Inc
Maisons Marques & Domaines
Marfa Group
Marques de Murrieta
Michael Skurnik Wines
MJM Imports
Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd.
Murphy Distribution
Natural Wine Co.
New Age Imports
Noble House Wines
North American Organic
P.R.Grisley Co.
Parador Selections
Pernod Ricard USA
Pipeline Distribution
Polaner Selections
Protecom Wines Inc.
Regal Wine Imports
RM Distributors
RM Mabor
Romero & Miller, LLC
Royal Wine Corp.
Serendipity Wines
Signature Imports
SolStar Wines
Spain Wine Collection
Spanish Vines Imports, Inc.
Specialty Cellars
Steve Miles Selection
T Edward Wines
Tempranillo Inc
Terra Nostra Vinos
Testa Wines of the World Ltd.
The House of Burgundy, Inc.
The Marchetti Co./Scoperta Importing Co.
The Spanish Wine Imports
Think Global Wines LLC
Tradewinds Specialty Imports
Tri Vin Imports
United Cellars
United Wineries/MHW
USA Wine West
Vin de Terra Imports, Inc.
Vin Divino
Vinaio Imports, Ltd.
Vinole Wines
Vinos and Gourmet Jose Pastor Selections
Vinos Libres
Vintage Wines
Vision Wine & Spirits, LLC
Well Oiled Company
Wine Associates, Inc.
WineLite Imports
Winesellers, Ltd.