Andrew Guard

2016 Rioja Tinto 'Losares', Olivier Rivière

2016 Rioja Tinto 'Losares' Located in the village of Navaridas at an elevation of 500 meters above sea level is the vineyard where Olivier Rivière makes what he considers his Grand Cru Rioja – Losares. This site was planted in 1930 on decomposed sandstone and limestone soils. Typical of older vineyards in Spain, it is planted with a wide array of varieties, both red and white, with Tempranillo the dominant variety. Losares is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and small percentages of the remaining red varieties.

In just 10 years Olivier has established himself as one of Spain's most revered winemakers. His wines have rapidly become amongst Spain's most sought-after, with all of the top restaurants and "in the know" collectors seeking them. Only small quantities are made, and in some instances tiny quantities...

We have had a great response to Olivier Rivière’s small production of Rioja and Arlanza wines since we first introduced them some years ago. I met first Olivier in Deauville, France where he was showing his wines at a wine fair that featured may producers that I was interested in. I had heard great things about his wines and was very keen to work with Spanish wine. Needless to say I wanted the wines to be good but I loved them! I gave him an order on the spot and we haven’t looked back.

It's hard to put you finger on what makes these wines great. All the wines have lovely balance and a purity of fruit that I rarely see. Most of all though they have superfine texture and cashmere-like tannins - they can be full bodied but are very lithe and incredibly drinkable!