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.
This wine was made using carbonic maceration. The must is then fermented at controlled temperature in cement tanks.
No oak ageing
A lively and young wine marked by its explosion of flavours. This stands out from other young Rioja wines, showing a different personality. Lively and fruity, it perfectly reveals the quality of the grapes, playing a magnificent symphony of colour, aroma and flavour.
Grilled red meat, spicy cuisine, pasta with meat, pizza
Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 91 Points
A serious expression of a classic unoaked ‘cosechero’ style Tempranillo made with carbonic maceration, this bouncy, joyous red uses grapes from Ábalos, Labastida and San Vicente. Pure and vibrant, with summer pudding and black cherry fruit. 2023-26. 91 Points, TA, 2023.
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