Abel Mendoza 2017 Rioja Seleccion Personal 750ml
The 2017 Selección Personal is the selection of the best plot of Tempranillo that year, but in the last few years it tends to be from a 50-year-old vineyard called Marrarte-El Bardallo in the village of Labastida, with clay and limestone soils rich in silt. The wine is varietal with creamy notes and a mixture of wild berries and herbs with black rather than red fruit, denoting ripeness. The palate reveals abundant chalkiness and a medium to full body and some austerity with just a tad of oak. It matured in barrel for 13 months. 5,348 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2019.
Score: 93 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.