Abel Mendoza, Malvasia, DOCa Rioja, Spain, 2021
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.
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 a selection of over 50 vineyards located in clay-calcareous soils.
Fermentated in new French oak barrels with the wine spending 5 months or 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 Rioja Report 2023 93 Points
The neighbouring villages of San Vicente and Labastida are the twin sources of this new French oak-fermented Malvasía Blanca from Abel Mendoza and Maite Fernández. Floral and engaging, with clementine and citrus flavours, good focus and a sheen of vanilla spice. 2023-30. 93 Points, TA, 2023.
6 x 75cl
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja 2022 Special Report 94 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 95 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 94 Points
Award: Decanter 94 Points