Abel Mendoza 2017 Tempranillo Grano a Grano 750ml
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The nose of the 2017 Tempranillo Grano A Grano shows more nuance and especially more floral aromas than the Selección Especial from this same vintage, which is also Tempranillo. "Grano a grano" means "grain by grain" in Spanish, as the grapes for this range are hand-destemmed to avoid the effect of a destemmer that might rip open the grapes. So, the perfect grapes go through a semi-carbonic maceration that extracts a different range of aromas, and I found some common aromas with the Jarrarte Maceración Carbónica here. 2027 was a very challenging year, and the wine shows the effect of the élevage in 500-liter oak barrels that lasted 18 months. 2,375 bottles were filled in May 2019.
Score: 94 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.
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