Often my favorite of the whole portfolio, the 2017 Graciano Grano A Grano seems to keep the poise, and the late-ripening variety even seems to like the warmer year. The aromas are an intoxicating blend of cracked black pepper and violets, beautifully layered and nuanced. It has a fine thread, lively acidity and refined tannins, and even if the oak is still there, it should get absorbed in a short time. I find this to be as good as ever and a real triumph over the adverse conditions of the year. Bravo!
Score: 96 points -- Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate, 2020
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.