It is my sincere belief that, in years to come, Olivier Riviere will be known as the man who re-birthed Rioja. Starting his boozy journey studying in Bordeaux and then toddling over to Burgundy to hone his craft under the roofs of some damn insane names. Leroy to learn how to work a vineyard under biodynamics, then off to Chassorney to truly understand the heights of non-interventionist winemaking. Then was the plan to set up his own estate in the Languedoc-Roussillon, in the midst of this he took a job in Rioja to convert the estate's vineyard to Biodynamics, that short gig ended and well he just couldn't bring himself to walk away from the region. He know stands as one of the most innovative and respected producers in Rioja's history, and this because he listened to the fruit, not just the local traditions.
The Rayos Uva is one of the biggest treats we get every year, especially in its price bracket. It's an insight in to what Rioja can be past the heavy handed new oak, brutal alcohol levels and over extraction that the region is infamous for (or heralded for if you're asking Robert Parker). Straight Tempranillo picked earlier from higher altitude vines to give fruit that still tingles with fresher acidity, then aged exclusively in tank it comes out as this berry-eautiful, risen, lifted damn thing. Rayos Uva rekindles a lost love and gives you a renewed reason to respect one of the world's most famous regions.