2018 Olivier Rivière Ganko09999
WINEMAKER: Olivier Rivière
VARIETAL: Garnacha, Mazuelo
REGION: Rioja, SP
"The blend for this, probably my favourite wine from Olivier, has changed and it's now a 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Mazuelo, which provides acidity and a vertical sensation like no other vintage of Ganko in the past. This is all from the village of Cárdenas in the Alto Najerilla in Rioja Alta, from high altitude (600m), old vines on sandy soils in a zone where only a bunch of small plots remain because it's hard to work. Rivière believes in this area to the point that he has purchased land to plant vineyards on some of the slopes. This has a lovely coolness and edge to the ripples of pure and vivid fruit it exudes; brilliant wine." - Andrew Guard
Olivier, as you might guess, is not Spanish but French. He was born and raised in Cognac, studied enology (with an emphasis on biodynamic farming practices) in Bordeaux and gained practical experience there and in Burgundy. The list of estates where he has worked is impressive by anyone’s standards from the most dedicated fans of natural wines (Domaine de Chassorney) to ultra-traditionalists (Domaine Leroy.) When his plans to set up a domaine in Fitou fell through, Olivier decided to spend a few years consulting in Spain, and he’s never left.
Coming from France, Olivier has an innate sense of terroir. Unlike most of his peers in Rioja, he bases his cuvées not on political boundaries or the length of barrel ageing but on terroir. He believes in a quality hierarchy inspired by Burgundy with generic appellation and Village wines at the base and Premier and Grand Cru wines at the top.