This cuvée takes its name from a small parcel of the Adrianna Vineyard that is completely covered with oval white stones and was the site of an ancient riverbed. The abundant stones provide optimal drainage and extreme temperatures. They absorb heat and moderate the nights, but also function like ice cubes after a very cold night. Stony soil Malbecs tend to be extremely aromatic, rich and luxurious, just like the River Malbec from Adrianna. This wine can be enjoyed young or aged for decades.
Wild blackberries, pine cones, bark, chili chocolate, cracked pepper, cloves, iodine and crushed stones on the nose. Full-bodied with firm, creamy tannins. Lovely coolness and minerality to the dark fruit. Powerful, too. Try in 2026.
The 2019 was a hard act to follow, but the 2020 Adrianna Vineyard River kept its poise, though it showed a little riper and with grainier tannins that gave it some faint rusticity and earthiness. This is one of three Malbecs from the Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary, from a stony part of the vineyard, hence its name. The wine matured in large oak foudres, and the oak is still perceptible and might need a little more time to get integrated. This tends to be the most austere of the three bottlings, even in the warmer years like 2020, and it shows a little more fruit. It's juicy but beautifully textured with a spicy twist of curry that reminded me of some bottlings from El Enemigo in El Cepillo. It seems to open up slowly in the glass—the violet and berry aromas get complicated by some spice (curry?)—and the palate feels more layered. This is a superb expression of the austere wildness of Gualtallary.