Named after the owner's father, José Pariente was a hard-working grower and producer from Rueda whose vines served as base for the project launched by friends María Victoria (Mariví) Pariente and Victoria Benavides. They named the winery Bodegas y Viñas Dos Victorias and the wines were called José Pariente. Soon after, they started a second project in Toro. When they went their separate ways, the wineries were split between them. Mariví obviously stayed in Rueda and fulfilled her dream of building her own modern premises. Her daughter Martina joined the business and finally updated the look of her labels increasing and defining the portfolio of wines.
Without much fuss and an honest marketing approach focused on the working methods at the winery, José Pariente has become one of the most respected brands in Rueda for its quality and continuity. More importantly, it has managed to stand apart from the mainstream industrial run-of-the-mill style. Rueda is one of the most technologically-minded denominations in Spain and Mariví readily admits that hand-harvesting is reserved for old bush vines and that selected yeasts are used. Around 75% of the harvest is cold-macerated and vinification is done in stainless steel deposits. The exceptions are the barrel-fermented white and the new Cuvée Especial, which uses concrete eggs. Work with the lees is thoroughly applied to all the wines.
Most of the half million bottles produced belong to José Pariente Verdejo (€9), which shows good aromatic intensity, fresh fruit and fennel rather than tropical notes and good consistency in the palate. José Pariente Sauvignon Blanc is at the same price level but its production is limited whereas Apasionado, a sweet wine made with the same French variety (€12, 0,50 cl.), is proof of the desire to experiment among many producers in the area.
José Pariente Fermentado en Barrica (€15) is gradually moving from 225-litre barrels towards larger formats (mostly 500-litre vats) in order to obtain a better balance between fruit and wood. The Verdejo used for the Cuvée Especial (€25) is vinified in cement tanks opening the way to a pure expression of the variety and the soil without any barrel interference. Unsurprisingly, there are several producers in the area working along these lines.