For a special occasion
- Winery: Abel Mendoza Monge. Carretera Peñacerrada, 7. San Vicente de la Sonsierra (La Rioja)
- Phone: +34 941 308 010
- Winemaker: Maite Fernández Mendoza
- Website: N/A
- Brand: Jarrarte 2008
- DO: Denominacion de Origen Cualificada Rioja Subzone: Rioja Alta.
- Type: Red Crianza Wine 13.5 % aged for 12 months in Allier French oak barrels for one to three years old
- Grapes Variety: 100% Tempranillo
- Vineyards: Abel Mendoza is a very small artisan producer who handcrafts his wines from his own vineyards, with an average age of 35 years, that surround the village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra in Rioja Alta.
- Soil: Calcareous clay with sandstone
- Bottle Size: 75.0cl.
- Price: It was a gift, available at €15.60
- My wine rating: 9.5/10
This small winery is owned by Abel Mendoza (vine growing) and Maite Fernández (winekmaking), a husband and wife team based in San Vicente de la Sonsierra. Their wines are among the most interesting, rare and sought-after in Rioja, in part due to their aversion to all things related to wine guides, events and media. They are the equivalent of those Burgundian vignerons who lovingly tend their vines to create personal wines which are faithful expressions of terroir.
Established in 1988, the winery owns 16 hectares of organic vines in San Vicente and adjoining villages. Jarrarte was the initial brand, but it is now reserved for the young red wine. Other bottlings are sold under the Abel Mendoza name. White wines are particularly interesting, specially given the limited size of the vineyard. Single varietal bottlings include Viura, Malvasía, Garnacha Blanca, Torrontés, Tempranillo Blanco and a blend of all five varieties. They are all fermented and raised in French oak for five months. Abel Mendoza Malvasía has citrus and fine smoked notes, good volume in the palate and a pleasant combination of sweet and acid nuances. Garnacha Blanca shows a meaty character and abundant ripe white fruit. Although slightly less defined, Abel Mendoza Torrontés has a unique character as it is one of the few -if not the only one- single varietal of the rare Torrontés in Rioja.
Tempranillo forms the basis of most of Abel Mendoza’s reds. Jarrarte Crianza, aged in oak for 12 months (€16), is all about fresh fruit and liveliness on the palate. The best Tempranillo plot is selected each vintage to make Abel Mendoza Selección Personal (€33). A selection of grapes from different plots are destemmed by hand and used for Tempranillo Grano a Grano (€44, only 2,000 bottles), a red wine with great depth, polished tannins and round texture. Graciano Grano a Grano (€43) brings on the vibrant acidity of this variety but will benefit from some extra time in the bottle before consumption. (From Spanish Wine Lover)