The 2018 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition expert tasting/review of South American Riesling (see blue link below). The most recent vintage available in the UK via the sole importer is the (excellent) 2016!
Dona Paula Estate Riesling 2016 - January 2019 Decanter review
Doña Paula is a leading, modern winery at the forefront of exploring and investing in new, high quality wine regions in Argentina. Established in 1997, they own all of their vineyards covering 700 hectares. These vineyard sites are located in the best subregions within Mendoza including Ugarteche, Altamira, Gualtallary and Tupungato. The vineyards have always been cultivated using sustainable methods, maximising the true expression of terroir. Continuous innovation in vineyard management ensures Doña Paula produces top quality wines from one year to the next.
The 2016 vintage was characterised by a delayed growing season, reduced yields and very good quality. An extremely cold spring delayed the plant physiology by three weeks on average, with the growing season continuing at cooler temperatures than average years. The result of the El Niño phenomenon was relatively high humidity and frequent rains. However despite challenging conditions, the grapes were healthy and of good quality at harvest producing wines with excellent varietal expression.
The grapes for the Estate Riesling come from the ‘Alluvia Vineyard’ in Gualtallary, Uco Valley. Situated at 1,350 metres above sea level, the subregion of Gualtallary is renowned for producing elegant and aromatic wines. The climate presents warm days and cool nights, with an average temperature variation of 12.5°C. This diurnal temperature swing encourages a long ripening period, producing a greater concentration of flavours in the grapes while retaining balancing acidity. The vines are cultivated using an espalier training method and are drip irrigated using melted snow-water from the mountains. The vines are grown in sandy soils with alluvial and calcareous stones. The vineyards at Doña Paula are managed sustainably.
The grapes were hand-picked during the first week of March. A very careful destemming and pressing process was carried out in order to protect the high quality of the grapes. A cool fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures of 12 to 15°C, preserving the purity of fruit.
Expressive aromas of jasmine are complemented by zesty citrus notes. Refreshing and beautifully balanced with a marked mineral streak, it has a complex yet attractively delicate character and a long, lifted finish. A delicious apéritif or a wonderful accompaniment to lightly spiced foods.