A Rioja of today: Rayos Uva 2012


This week I am going to refer to the good work that the French winemaker and winemaker Olivier Rivière is developing in La Rioja. For this I will talk about one of his wines, Rayos Uva 2012, in addition to sketching some pieces of the way in which the creator of Cognac sees the world of wine.

Rivière does not have a family background related to wine, but it is very possible that the proximity of his home to Bordeaux influenced the winemaker's decision to dedicate himself to this world. To begin his apprenticeship, he moved to Burgundy and there he definitely fell in love with the terroir, with the extreme importance that the Burgundians give to the terroir when making their wines. For him Burgundy is "the cradle of the terroir". I suppose that from this relationship arose his conviction that without a good grape it is not possible to make a good wine.

Tasting of Rayos Grape 2012

It is a young red with aging from a coupage Graciano and Tempranillo grapes at 50%. Aging has been carried out in stainless steel tanks on its lees, and later in used wooden casks.

It is a wine of a powerful cherry red color that in the olfactory phase has a floral and very fresh nose in which aromas of wild red fruits and freshly cut straw appear.

As we fill our mouths with it, we perceive tart strawberries and cherries, as well as floral notes. It has alcoholic forcefulness although freshness predominates. It is medium mid palate and moderately astringent, with an acidity perfectly controlled by the author. It is a wine with a young spirit, very different from the Riojans that we have known until now.

It is a highly recommended wine to be enjoyed with red meat, meat or poultry stews, as well as with Iberian sausages.

Olivier Rivière decides to settle in Spain

With a suitcase full of lessons learned, he took another step forward and decided to finish his "wine" training in Spain at the hands of the Telmo Rodríguez Wine Company. For him "Spain is the new world of the old world", that is, our country is the one that has given the greatest evolution to wine in recent decades. Hence, Olivier decidedly bet on Spain to make his wines.

One day he decided that he was going to make wines alone and for this he started with four barrels and great enthusiasm. From the beginning he bet on biodynamic viticulture and absolute honesty. It was made from high-altitude vineyards in Navarra and Arlanza and recently in La Rioja Alavesa.

It has always looked for cold areas to bring finesse and elegance to its wines and has made a clear commitment to acidity so that the wine has life. He has opted for the recovery of old vineyards in Spain so that the country does not lose its wine-making identity, and he believes he is living a dream and does not want to leave our country. As you can see, he is doing much more for our country than many born here.

Although at the beginning he decided to be a taster, there came a time when Olivier was bored with this activity. What he really likes, his passion, is working the vineyard, interacting with it. He is passionate about Garnacha, Tempranillo and Mazuelo. Bet on him coupage to improve the wines, to give them more complexity. Look for agile and fresh wines, full of nuances, that do not bore and, above all, that are wines to eat. Chapeau mon amic.

Health and tasting.

Grape Rays 2012

Red Wine with aging 2012 Vintage 50% Graciano and 50% Tempranillo Bodegas Lacus S.L. DO. Qualified Rioja 14% Alcoholic volume Approximate RRP: 9 euros

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