Andrew Guard

2018 Rioja Blanco 'La Bastid', Olivier Rivière

2018 Rioja Blanco 'La Bastid' This wine (that used to be called Jequitibá) is a blend of old-vine Viura with 10% Malvasía and Garnacha Blanca from old vineyards in Labastida where the varieties are planted together. This is a blend of different plots that are vinified separately and fermented with their own yeast. The whole clusters are pressed and the must is fermented in oak barrels and then matured in contact with the lees in foudre and different-sized barrels with no bâttonage, then left to decant naturally and bottled in May-June. It has a glorious honeysuckle and gardenia nose that leads into flavours of nectarine and apple. It’s complex, refreshing and has a lovely saline finish. The pitch perfect Burgundian élevage has given this wine real class.The palate has electric acidity that makes you salivate!  

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!