Andrew Guard

2018 Rioja 'Viñas de Eusebio', Olivier Rivière

Las Viñas de Eusebio is a blend of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano that has superb finesse and complexity. It matured in a 1,600-liter oak foudre and 225- and 500-liter oak barrels and as usual has a quite classical profile, with a mixture of gorgeous gossamer fruit and spice, 2018 was a very successful vintage for Olivier and this has all the ingredients to develop nicely in bottle including fine but chalky tannins from the limestone soils, which adds to that serious and classical profile. There is a portion of whole bunches in the fermentation that gives attractive lift and drive as the wine is young. Great wine!

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!