Abel Mendoza, Jarrarte Blanco, 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.
Grapes are sourced from Abel’s old vineyards situated on the rugged terrain on the edge of the Ebro valley, on soils composed of clay, marl and fine sandstones. All work in the vineyard is carried out organically and harvested by hand once the grapes have reached perfect ripeness.
Fermentation is carried out in stainless steel tanks, where the wine remains for further time on the lees. Resulting in a charming blend driven by fresh fruit and unhindered by oak.
No oak ageing
This indigenous blend of Viura and Malvasía, with a proportionof Torrontés, Tempranillo Blanco and Garnacha Blanca, showcases the pure style that can be achieved in this wild, elevated part of Rioja. Immense charm on the nose, with fresh aromas of white peach and flowers; whilst the palate is crisp, with hintsof fennel and anise.
Simple grilled fish and shellfish, garlic prawns, grilled squid or zesty salads.
Torrontés, Tempranillo Blanco and Garnacha Blanca 10%
12 x 75cl
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 91 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 90 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 93 Points