Abel Mendoza, Selección Personal, DOCa Rioja, Spain, 2018
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.
For two generations Abel Mendoza's family has been farming vineyards in Rioja, and today works 37 individual parcel, scattered in and around the village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra (towards the border of Rioja Alta and Alavesa). More than anything in the world, Abel cares for his vineyards, each plot tended to enable an authentic expression of the location, and harvested entirely by hand. The grapes planted are all indigenous varietals, including Malvasia, Viura, Tempranillo Blanco and Tinto and Graciano.
Fermentation is made in steel tanks and after the malolactic fermentation the wine is matured in new french barrels for 13 months.
Type: French 225l Barrels
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 100
A very classy and compelling wine. Deeply coloured with a pure, intense bouquet of crushed fruits, spice and oak. Elegant oak ageing enhances the wine’s complexity and class.
White meat, Ibérico ham, pork sausage, pasta with tomato sauce and mushrooms.
Tim Atkin Rioja 2022 Special Report 94 Points
This impressive Tempranillo hails from a single two-hectare parcel called Marrate-El Bardillo in Labastida. New oak aged, it's a grippy, compact, dense red with a hint of good reduction, stony, brooding intensity, grippy tannins and the concentration and fruit weight to age beautifully in bottle. 2024-30. 94 Points, TA, Feb 2022.
Decanter 92 Points
Attractive notes of spice, toast, ripe cherry and dark fruits, with well-balanced use of oak. Refined and graceful with a complex finish. 92 Points, SJE, PBT, PM, March 2023.
6 x 75cl
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 95 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 93 Points