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2020 Bodega Abel Mendoza Torrontes Fermentado en Barrica Rioja DOCa, Spain

2020 Bodega Abel Mendoza Torrontes Fermentado en Barrica Rioja DOCa, Spain

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In 1997 a friend of Abel and Maite who had been studying native grape
varieties told them that they should look for plantings of Torrontés in the
area as he had found some documents mentioning that the grape had been
in San Vicente and La Bastida since the 1800s. Over the years, farmers had
been pulling it out and it was being forgotten. Abel and Maite quickly found
a farmer with a very old vineyard plot with a mixture of varieties, one of
which was Torrontés. He allowed them to take some cuttings and start their
own plantings.

At the time, Torrontés was not recognized by the Consejo Regulador and
wines could not be labelled as such. With the first wine Abel and Maite
produced, they labelled it with a small “T” in the top corner so their close
customers would know what it was. In 2009, the Consejo added Chardonnay,
Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo to the list of allowed varieties and agreed
to include Torrontés and Tempranillo Blanco due to pressure from Abel
Mendoza and other producers now working with the grapes.

The first vintage they produced came from the original old plot where
they found the vines. The wine is now being made from a few plots of the
younger vines planted by Abel, with the oldest plot around 28 years old.
Abel Mendoza white wines are handled in the same manner. The fruit is
sorted and pressed in a pneumatic press. The juice goes into tank for a brief
settling period and after one day is racked off into new French oak barrels
for fermentation. After fermentation, the wines stay in barrel for 5 - 6
months. Batonnage is done every 2 - 3 days. After barrel maturation, the
wines are blended into tank, stabilized and bottled.

The nose is concentrated and elegant with white and tropical fruit notes
like banana, pineapple, citrus with lime peel and cassia. The palate is well
balanced with good structure and invokes memories of farmhouse butter,
white peaches, dried apricots and jams.

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