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Sommelier's Choice
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Rioja Rayos Uva Olivier Riviere 2017

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Additional Information

Recommended Sommelier's Choice
One Line Description Rioja Rayos Uva Olivier Riviere, Biodynamic Rioja, Joven style, no oak, juicy and fresh, lovely core of sweet fruit, notes of earth and leather, superb.
Production Method Natural, Organic, Biodynamic
Country Spain Spanish
Region Rioja, Spain
Producer Olivier Riviere
Vintage 2017
Wine Type Red Wine
Wine Style Medium bodied
Grape Blend Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha
Alcohol 14% abv
Total Sulphur Level 62mg/l
Maturation Approximately one year in steel
Annual Production 10 - 20,000 bottles
Ageing Potential Would age very nicely over the medium term, 5 years approximately
Production Detail Biodynamic
Natural Features Vegan


Rioja Rayos Uva Olivier Riviere, Biodynamic Rioja, Joven style, no oak, juicy and fresh, lovely core of sweet fruit, notes of earth and leather, superb. Outstanding un-oaked Rioja, freshness abounds in a swirl of mouth coating pure Tempranillo fruit. A beautiful example of how to capture the pure fruit potential of this noble Spanish variety that is so often covered with American oak and sweet vanilla nonsense. Olivier is a master of expressing 'terroir' and varietal character rather than wine making. Like many other biodynamic pioneers, he allows the wine to make itself and the results reveal the potential of Tempranillo and the hot Rioja region to still produce wines of exceptional freshness and vitality. Laden with young red fruits, black cherry, plum and a slight note of fig, slightly earthy beneath, but fresh, fresh, fresh! Lovely wine. If you really, really like Marques de Riscal, don t bother with is far too cool for you!

It takes a brave man to make Rioja without Tempranillo and without American oak but Olivier doesn't lack confidence. When I met him in the Loire and tasted the wines I asked if he used any American oak. He looked at me as if I was mad, (so did the group of Michelin Star Sommeliers I was with), that's what I thought Rioja producers used! But this guy is no ordinary Rioja producer, he is French for one and his wines shine through the murky waters of heavy oak use and over extraction like a ray of Spanish sunshine. Native of Cognac, Olivier Rivière studied oenology in Montagne St-Emilion (Bordeaux region) and then worked at several estates before settling in Spain. Olivier first worked with Elian Da Ros in Marmandais, then at Domaine Leroy where his main interest was to learn about their biodynamic methods. Finally, he went on to Domaine de Chassorney to see how beautiful non-interventionist wines were made. With little money to get his own venture started, he bought a tiny 1 hectare vineyard in Arlanza, 1000 metres above sea level where day and night time temperatures differ by as much as 20 degrees. There he set about making biodynamic Tempranillo with a unique depth and freshness. A couple of years later, Olivier purchased a small vineyard in Rioja and now some of the most elegant examples of this very popular but often highly manipulated wine. For a taste of the other side of Rioja, Olivier's wines are eye opening and absolutely delicious.

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