2014 Olivier Riviere "Gabaxo" Rioja

SKU #1297402 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Gabatxo is almost a new wine as it's now a 50/50 bend of Tempranillo and Garnacha, and it used to be pure Garnacha. This is the only wine where different zones are mixed, as the Tempranillo is from Rioja Alavesa and the Garnacha from Rioja Baja, the Garnacha from Cárdenas that does not make it into the Ganko. It does feel really different; the Tempranillo brings some seriousness, focus and precision. It's not only a matter of a different variety from a cooler zone, it's also the fact that now he's working some with his own vineyards. It's very fine and elegant, and it's terribly tasty and fresh, perhaps mineral, almost salty and it makes you salivate. This is a cuvée on the way up. Awesome value. 12,000 bottles in 2014, and there will be a little more in 2015.  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

Olivier Riviere is part of the talented next generation of Rioja, a member of the "Rioja n' Roll" collective, and definitely someone who is making some of Rioja's most interesting wines these days. Gabaxo, Spanish slang for a Frenchman, consists of 50% estate tempranillo from Rioja Alavesa, and Garnacha from the Rioja Alta village of Cardenas. Fermented with some whole clusters and aged in older oak, the wine is structured and nicely serious, while maintaining its fresher dark fruits and mineral profile. A great introduction to Olivier's delicious Riojas.

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Price: $21.99
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- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.


Alcohol Content (%): 14