Abel Mendoza, Garnacha Blanco, Rioja, Spain, 2018
Modest and passionate about his vineyards, Abel and his wife Maite have been making understated wines in San Vicente since 1988.
Lying in the shadow of the Sierra Cantabria, Abel has vineyards in the finest parts of the Alavesa. His knowledge and understanding of the soils is enthralling and to taste in his cellar can be an education on the effects different soils have in different years. He wants only to express the fruit and the soil and unlike many Riojans, he leaves it more or less at that. He does not want to stamp the wines with any particular style or mark of his own other than his respect for the very natural quality of the grapes and for the magical places that they were grown.
Calcareous clay soils, grapes from different plots.
Fermentation in new french barrels and 5 months/battonage until bottlling.
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 100
This viscous, mouth-filling wine offers notes of toast, red and green apples, caramel and almond.
Grilled shellfish, asparagus, fried eggs, soft-paste cheeses
Robert Parker 93+ Points
They wanted to recover a white variety that had always been present in the Rioja vineyards with the 2018 Garnacha Blanca, produced with grapes picked after a challenging growing season and a not-so-easy harvest. It fermented in French oak barrels with neutral yeasts and matured in barrel with the fine lees that were periodically stirred. All these whites were bottled a few weeks ago, and the wines feel very young and tender. But I can already see the personality of the Garnacha Blanca, a grape that Mendoza thinks has very high potential, and this wine has alcohol and acidity. The palate is vibrant and has higher acidity and freshness than the Torrontés and Tempranillo Blanco, and it feels very focused and clean. All the whites I tasted felt very pure and transparent. This should age nicely in bottle. 1,724 bottles were filled in March 2019. No 2017 was bottled, as they lost the crop to frost; the few grapes they could save went to the white blend 5V. LG, 93+ Points, June 2019.
Garnacha Blanca 100%
6 x 75cl