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Rayos Uva is Olivier’s version of a Bourgongne Rouge sourced from fruit grown in the sandy, gravelly and alluvial soils of Rioja Baja. The blend is dependent on the vintage but usually includes Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacha – percentages change each year to create a brightly fruity version of Rioja unmarked by oak.
With about 25 hectares of rented and owned vineyards in Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja, Rioja Alavesa, and splitting his time between his own wines and consulting with other producers, it would be an understatement to say that Olivier Rivière is busy. Originally lured to Spain in 2004 by Telmo Rodriguez to convert his vineyards to biodynamics, Olivier came to appreciate the rich history of Rioja and the diversity of its soils and grape varieties. In 2006 he started his own project, and owing to the high cost of land in Rioja, he traded his farming talents for access to grapes from the best sites he could locate. Coming from France, Olivier has an innate sense of terroir. Unlike many of his peers in Rioja, he bases his cuvées not on political boundaries or the length of barrel aging but on terroir. He believes in a quality hierarchy inspired by Burgundy with generic Appellation and Village wines at the base and Premier and Grand cru wines at the top. This is how to understand best what Olivier is doing in Rioja, rather than the traditional Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva model or traditionalists versus modernists. In keeping with his education and advocation, nearly all of Olivier’s vineyard sources – whether owned or leased – are farmed organically with biodynamic practices. Harvested is manual and each variety is fermented separately. Depending on the source, it may be partially destemmed or fermented whole cluster. Fermentations are with indigenous yeasts. Macerations are gentle and short. Aging takes place in stainless steel or cement tanks, foudre, and barrel with each container chosen to benefit the expression of the terroir. SO2 is kept to a minimum, usually added only before bottling. These are not your grandparent’s Riojas, nor are they your parent’s. These wines represent a novel approach that relies almost entirely on the specificity of site and the transparency of winemaking necessary to capture it.
Denny & Katie
Your friendly neighborhood wine shop and tiny bar, focused on small production wines and conservas. Connect with us on Instagram for suggestions on your next bottle and to follow along in our downtown Lafayette wine journey.
Visit us to shop and hang in person or order online for quick and easy pick up.
210 EAST VERMILION STREET LAFAYETTE, LA 70501
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Closed Sunday & Monday