Manuel Antonio de la Riva

Marco de Jerez

'La Riva' Palomino de flor 'el Majuelo', Pago Macharnudo 2020


The de la Riva Macharnudo Blanco recuperates a great wine based in the 'el Majuelo' vineyard of Pago Macharnudo, a historical wine of el Marco de Jerez which disappeared under Domecq in the 1980s. The soils are Tosca cerrada with a high level of diatomaceous fossils promoting great freshness, at 115m altitude, 18km in from the Atlantic, in a mixed poniente-levante setting.

The fruit (Palomino 84) is hand-picked, with individual bunches selected in repeated passes over 2 months, which gain a degree or so of alcohol from a 6 hour soleo. It’s then whole bunch pressed (only 50% of the free run juice is taken). An ambient spontaneous fermentation in 600l bota precedes 18 months ageing under a film of flor. The wine is hand-filled to bottle, unfiltered, unfined.

Deep, and brilliant brassy gold; brilliant in mouth too. A biscuit of chalk, straw in flint, deeply textural, spicy with a touch of smoke and whisper of saffron, curry, lanolin, deep long and slow. Ripe, but fresh with saline. Rich, golden with earthy chalk, leavened by tilled green herbs, it’s mineral and fresh. There’s a great tang in the side of the mouth, and at the tip of tongue; not exactly acid, it sums perfectly how Palominos in el Marco gain complex freshness. The ‘cut’ in the sides of mouth is deeply textural as well as providing pucker and line, while the tongue is pricked, fresh. The barley malt fruit weight in the core, along with the earthen body somehow play second fiddle. They get the thing going, saddle it up, but it’s the complex salt, diatom mineral and twitch of aldehyde sapid-acid textural snap of the thing which is the actual ride.