Abel Mendoza, Blanco Fermentado con Pieles, 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.
Sourced from vineyards in and around San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Abalos and Labastida. Vines at altitude and on a myriad of soil types, rightly regarded as the finest location for viticulture in Rioja.
Fermentation and maceration on the skins ‘con pieles’ give the wine its distinctive colour. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation, with no added sulphites to maintain the wine in its most natural state.
No oak ageing
Our buyer, Paul Shinnie tasted this whilst it was still in tank and was struck by its purity, “sensational soft texture and vibrancy of fruit. Just incredibly fine, with beautiful aromatics and elegance. A wine that truly represents Abel’s affinity with his vines and location in an entirely natural and unforced way”.
An excellent aperitif or serve with lamb tagine and nutty grains, or pair with bold flavours such as Korean burgers and kimchi.
6 x 75cl
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja 2024 Special Report 94 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja 2024 Special Report 96 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 93 Points