Abel Mendoza, Tempranillo Grano a Grano, 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.
Old vines grown in San Vicente de la Sonsierra.
Temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 11 days then malolactic fermentation in new French oak barrels. Maturation for 18 months in new French oak 225 litre barrels with 3 lots of racking.
Type: French 225l Barrels
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 100
Intense cherry cherry colour. Intense black fruit and perfumed aromas, with good fruit expression in the palate (plums, cassis) and and integrated oak and toast notes.
Beef and Lamb, stewed meats and fish sauce.
Robert Parker 95 Points
The 2015 Tempranillo Grano A Grano was selected from vineyards over 50 years of age in the villages of Labastida and San Vicente de la Sonsierra. The key in 2015 was the date of harvest, as it rained during the period. The bunches were hand-destemmed, and the uncrushed grapes fermented in 1,200-liter stainless steel vats and matured in 500-liter French oak barrels for 18 months including malolactic. It feels very open and expressive, as it has hit a sweet spot, and the nose is an explosion of flowers, wild berries and herbs. It has a really pretty nose. I think he really got the harvest date spot on for this one. This might be a different style from the 2016, but the quality level is very similar. A great 2015... Only 1,664 bottles were filled in May 2017. LG, 95 Points, June 2019.
6 x 75cl
DOCa Rioja, Spain