The 2018 Gabatxo was singing when I tasted it. Despite 2018 being a more austere year, this was floral and elegant, insinuating and nuanced, very expressive. This is different from the previous years when the wine was a 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo. Now, there's less Tempranillo and more Garnacha, and Graciano comes into the picture. So, it's a blend of 40% Garnacha, 30% Graciano and 30% Tempranillo from different locations: Cárdenas and Rioja Baja for the Garnacha and Laguardia for the Tempranillo and Graciano. Alcohol is 13.5%, and there's very good freshness. It has fine tannins, and there's a very spicy side to it (black peppercorns from the Graciano?). It's nicely textured, long, precise, balanced and mineral. It's a serious wine that drinks well and has everything to develop nicely in bottle. Superb! All wines now have a slightly longer élevage and are bottled a little later. - Importer Note
Olivier Rivière studied enology in Montagne St-Emilion and worked briefly with Elian Da Ros in Côtes-du-Marmandais, then at Domaine Leroy in Vosne-Romanée where his main interest was to learn about their biodynamic methods. He then went on to Domaine de Chassorney in St-Romain to see how beautiful non-interventionist wines are made - he couldn't have chosen a better teacher than Fred Cossard.
His dream was to start his own estate in Fitou which didn't eventuate so in 2004 Olivier took a job with an estate in Rioja Alavesa to convert its vines into biodynamic culture. Following that, Olivier decided to stay in Rioja and began looking for vines tended organically, with the goal to buy grapes and make his own wine. He found a grower in the tiny village of Cárdenas, and bought and vinified his grapes. He was able to rent a 1.20HA plot from another person, and had his first harvest in 2006.
In a very short period of time he has found a path straight into the hearts and minds of wine fanatics in France, Italy, Japan, the USA and of course, back home in Spain where he is starting get serious respect.
His red bottlings are "Rayos Uva" which is bursting, juicy, bright and succulent and aged only in tank; "Ganko", half and half Garnacha and Tempranillo is aged in barrels and represents subtlety, harmony, elegance and stucture; and "Gabacho" that is 50% Tempranillo 50% Graciano which is made and aged only in tank and vat and is a masterstroke; a medley of fruit, terroir and winemaker that is a thrilling ride.
These wines taste far apart from the vast majority of Spanish wine available on the market and a have more in common stylistically with Burgundy and the Rhône Valley and the prices are more than fair for the spectacular quality of these wines. - Importer Note
|Product Type||Wine Red Grenache & Friends|
|Winemaking Practices||Minimal Intervention|