Abel Mendoza is one of the most innovative and dedicated vignerons in Rioja. He works with his wife in the village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, already a legendary place for new-new things in the blessed region. They are true artisans of taste. I have tried three of their wines thanks to the recommendation of my friend Benjamin Lana, who prefers to remain anonymous.

I started with their youngest one, called Jarrarte Joven (5 euros), a 2011 wine which turned upside down my usually low expectations on carbonic maceration. It was like a glimpse of the summer, full of optimism and encompassing very different sentiments. A morning walk on the beach.

The second one, Jarrarte Crianza 2008 (circa 16 euros), is an outstanding wine at an incredible price, more like hiking with your best friends on a mountain all day long while picking strawberries.

Finally, I tried their top wine, called Abel Mendoza Selección Personal 2009 (33 euros). It is a perfect wine, delicate, profound, engaging, a wine to start a long conversation at the end of a day, a fireside chat that could go on forever.

Three splendid wines in one haiku:

sweet strawberry
laughing, dancing in my mouth
come soon summer season