Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Vino Blanco La Riva 2016 13.5%, M Ant. De La Riva

Mid strawy brassy gold with golden highlights.
The first thing you notice is seriousness: depth and a good degree of ripeness; most Palomino table wines are 12% and lack this depth and intensity. It reminded me slightly of a fine Burgundy, Meursault possibly - it certainly has that level of class, and faint oxidative nuttiness. There are as many fruit notes as those of flor with very ripe/stewed apple and quince balancing the bitter ones of the flor. It has a slight orchard air about it with some wild herbs growing nearby, and also a distinct nod to Fino. It is very complex, intense and beautiful.
This is way more complex and concentrated than any white table wine I have come across so far in Cádiz. It has a lovely chalky grapeskin texture and a gentle tension between that lovely ripe fruit and just a little bitter flor edge. It is clean with reasonably low acidity and lingers for ages. No new French oak barrels necessary for complexity here, just outstanding grapes and winemaking - the way it was done in the past. It makes you realise how much has been lost, and how important Ramiro's and Willy's work is in recuperating it. This wine is utterly superb.
This stunning wine was made by Ramiro Ibáñez and Willy Pérez for their new brand, M Antonio de la Riva, for which they bought the rights. The original firm was famed for quality and they want to maintain that, and have got off to a great start with Oloroso and Moscatel (just 90 half bottles) Viejisimos and an outstanding Fino. This white wine is made from old Palomino 84 vines grown in the Viña El Notario, located in the northern part of the Viña El Majuelo, owned by Fundador, in the Macharnudo Alto. It is well inland with a warmer climate but has a decent altitude of some 115 metres and fantastic albariza soil composed of tosca cerrada and barajuela. The grapes were harvested by hand in mid September at a very low yield of about half the normal, and sunned for 8 hours, as was the original La Riva practice, which increased the must weight by 1.2 degrees. The grapes were very lightly pressed for maximum quality and the wine was fermented in butt at ambient temperature using flor yeast, and remained in the butt under the flor for 10 months before only 400 bottles were filled in October 2017 en rama and under a fine quality 2 inch driven cork. If you manage to get hold of a bottle, don't over chill it.
35.50 (and worth every centimo) Guerrita

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