Abel Mendoza, Malvasia, DOCa Rioja, Spain, 2015
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.
One of the traditional varieties of La Rioja, which almost disappeared from the area due to its sensitivity to botrytis. Many of the collected grapes are from over 50 vineyards located in clay-calcareous soils.
Fermentated in new barrels of French oak, which has been 5 months more on its lees
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 100
Fresh and complex. Apple, peach, quince and citrus nose. The mouth has a dense and structured entry with supple and sweet fruit and acidity combined with herbs and with a hint of vanilla.
Parma Ham works really well.
Tim Atkin 95 Points
The subtlest and most “feminine” of the Mendoza whites, according to Abel himself, this is delicate and floral with undertones of acacia honey and fresh hay. Spicy and understated with hints of beeswax and cinnamon, this doesn’t need Viura as a supporting act. 2017-20, TA, 95 Points.
Jancis Robinson 16.5 Points
Very ripe, a touch honeyed, as if there were a touch of botrytis here. Sour apricot, ripe citrus, almost pineapple. Deep and rich on the palate so that it tastes off dry though I think it may be dry. Aromatic and full in the mouth. Intense and pure. 13%, 16.5 Points, JH, April 2017.
6 x 75cl