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. Floral and exuberant, this Malbec has lengthy smooth tannins. It can be enjoyed young or aged for decades.
100 Points - James Suckling
This is really something. There’s purity and focus to the aromas of crushed berries, licorice and black tea, which follow through to an integrated palate of extremely fine, melted tannins that spread to the very ends of the wine. This is all about balance and length. It really is an emotional wine. Great follow-up to the 2017, which was also 100 points. Drinkable now, but better after 2024.
99 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Adrianna Vineyard River Stones is always the freshest and most austere of the three single-plot bottlings from the Adrianna Vineyard on Gualtallary. This fermented with some 70% full clusters, as it was harvested at three different times and the first two fermented with full clusters and the last pick was added destemmed to the fermentation. The nose is subtle, elegant and nuanced; the grapes were picked quite early in 2018 and that ensured a vibrant palate with almost citrus (blood orange) sensations. A small percentage of the wine matured in stainless steel. They have been working with the irrigation and only irrigated it four times that year, achieving more precision in the viticulture, which gets reflected in the balance of the wine. This has very fine tannins, a very fine thread and a dry, long and tasty finish. This is markedly stony, true to the character of the place. Red fruit, textured and mineral.
95 Points - Vinous
Riverstone is a 1.6-hectare parcel of Malbec grown in a dry river bed of stones coated in calcium carbonate. The winemaking process begins with fermentation in 500-liter barrels, followed by 20 months’ aging in French oak barrels. Expressive, like all wines grown in stony soil, this is also fruity with notes of sour cherry, raspberry and lavender. The palate is quite intense, offering hints of chalk that define the texture and a saline flavor that enhances and channels the effect in the mouth.