Olivier Riviere 'Pozo Alto', Rioja DOCa, Spain 2017

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2017 was a tough vintage in Rioja; still, the red 2017 Pozo Alto was singing when I tasted it. The vineyard was hit hard by the spring frost, and the rest of the year was very dry. The wine is not as vertical as it was in previous years, and it's a reflection of the conditions of the harvest. The palate is a little wider, but the limestone core and the freshness of the place are still there. This is a triumph over the extremely adverse conditions of the year. He sorted the 100%-destemmed fruit and fermented the grapes with indigenous yeasts. It matured in a single 600-liter oak demi-muid for 24 months, and the longer élevage seems to have polished the wine and made it longer and narrower, which is good when you have more volume like in 2017.

96 Pts Luis Gutierrez, Robert Parker