Ramón Bilbao has added a white wine partner to its Edición Limitada Rioja red, and one of the very few lees-aged and oak-aged Verdejos from Rueda.

The company started its search in Rueda just over a decade ago for a white wine to match its Rioja reds. The 2016 vintage marked the first to be made at the company’s new winery at Finca las Amedias in the heart of the region. Last year a Sauvignon Blanc was added and now a less-aged Verdejo from the estate’s own vines has been launched.

Ramón Bilbao Edición Limitada ‘Lias’ Verdejo 2016 is the result of winemaker Sara Banuelos’ experiments with different vinification methods – from lees-stirring to cold fermentation, and ageing in every size from 225-litre barriques to 4,100-litre concrete tanks. ‘Lias’ is made from 19-year-old vines on the 60-hectare Finca las Amedias vineyard and was aged for eight months on its lees in French and Hungarian oak. As with the Rioja red, only a limited amount of numbered bottles have been released – just over 24,000 in this case.

Head winemaker, Rodolfo Bastida, said: “Whether we make our wines in Rioja or Rueda, we will always look to push boundaries and go beyond the ‘accepted’ ways of doing things. This is the perfect partner to our Edición Limitada red where, in each vintage, we look to show a more innovative side to Rioja Alta by only using grapes grown at altitude: here we are showing just how complex and age-worthy Verdejo can be.”

Ramón Bilbao Edición Limitada ‘Lias’ Verdejo 2016 is now available to the UK off and on-trade priced £15 from Enotria & Coe.