“As with many other wines, this time I could compare the 2016 Tempranillo Grano A Grano with the one from 2015 and see the differences in the two vintages. Analytically, the wines are quite similar, but the profile is not the same. There is less influence from the oak, as the barrels are larger and used (not new). This is like a more intense version of the Selección Personal, with the imprint of the 2016 vintage, floral aromas, a clean nose with complexity and elegance, showing very young but nuanced. They are forced to select looser bunches to be able to destem the grapes by hand, and the grapes are more perfect, less compact and perhaps with a higher ratio of skin to juice. This explains the intensity of the Grano a Grano wines. The palate is balanced, with very good freshness and refined tannins. I think Abel has produced some of his best wines in 2016, and this has to be one of them. 2,040 bottles were filled in May 2018.”
- The Wine Advocate #243 95 points
- Drink 2019 to 2030
Founded in 1988, this winery now owns 16 hectares of vines that are farmed organically near the town of San Vicente and the adjoining villages. The husband and wife team of Abel Mendoza (viticulturalist) and Maite Fernandaz (winemaking) produce a stunning range of wines that are among the most interesting, rare and sought after in all of Rioja. So much care is taken in both the vineyards and winery that comparisons have been made between Abel and Maite and those Burgundian vignerons who lovingly tend their vines to create a personal wine that carefully expresses the terroir from which they are produced. Tempranillo is king at this estate and it forms the basis for the majority of the reds produced. Jarrarte is aged in oak for 12 months and is designed to be fresh, fruity and lively on the palate. One exceptional plot of Tempranillo is selected each vintage to become the Seleccion Personal, a wine that has great depth, polished tannins, round texture and the ability to mature beautifully in the cellar. The whites produced at the winery are always excellent as well. The Rioja 5V white consistently scores in the mid 90 point range from the Wine Advocate. This is a stunning blend of 5 white varietal that is barrel fermented. Don't miss out on this one as the production is tiny. The wines speak for themselves but as an added bonus, in his 2015 Special Report on Rioja, MWC Tim Atkin crowned Abel and Maite Mendoza as Winemakers of the Year, which should speak to the quality of the wines produced at this Bodega. Stock your cellar with these wines and enjoy over the coming years.