Abel Mendoza, Blanco 5 Varietals, DOCa Rioja, Spain, 2022
Modest, passionate and in no small part obsessive, Abel Mendoza and Maite Fernández have been making understated wines from their old vine vineyards, high up in the Cantabrian mountains near San Vicente de la Sonsierra since the late 80s.
His intimate knowledge of the diverse terroirs in this spectacular part of Rioja is enthralling, and every barrel tasted reveals startling provenance and true character of the vintage. Abel doesn’t make wines that flatter, they don’t speak of oak regimes, but rather of the quality of his fruit, expressed in its most honest form.
Harvest is carried out by hand, each plot and each variety individually at optimum ripeness. One of Abel's specialties is the vinification of these traditional white Rioja varietals separately in new oak barrels.
Fermentation in new French barrels and 5 months battonage until bottlling.
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 100
The nose is quite complex, with notes of smoke, yellow and white fruits, white flowers and balsamic aromas. The compact palate shows power as well as plenty of well-integrated oak.
Complex salads, legumes, braised seafood, braised white fish, cod fish, soft cheese.
Tim Atkin Rioja 2024 Special Report 96 Points
5V combines a quintet of different white grapes - more or less equal amounts of Malvasía, Tempranillo Blanco, Torrontés and Viura with a splash of Garnacha Blanca to produce a blend that is more than the sum of its parts. Subtly oaked in new French barrels, it has aromas of patisserie spices and aniseed and a palate that displays flavours of wet stones, lime, quince and lemon zest, complemented by a textured mid palate. 96 Points, TA, 2024.
6 x 75cl
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja 2022 Special Report 94 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja 2024 Special Report 94 Points