Captivating Red Wine From Ribeira Sacra
Expressive, elegant, Spanish red wine...
19 Jul 2020
by The Blackhearts Crew
There are some regions of the world that make it very easy to fall in love with them… take Ribeira Sacra, for example. With producers like Envínate, Fedellos do Couto, and Peixes crafting stunning wines from the vineyards that cover the land, it’s hard not to become just a little bit obsessed.
While the Denominación de Origen Protegida regulations have become increasingly strict in the region - and as such none of the following wines technically fall under the Ribeira Sacra D.O.P. - these are still phenomenal expressions of the land, vines, microclimates, and people of this beautiful part of the world.
2017 Peixes ‘Peixes da Rocha’ Tinto, $60
From the minds of Curro Bareno, Jesus Olivares, and Luis Taberna - Peixes takes a distinct interest in the area at the head of the Bibei river, home to wild, gnarly vineyards that sit at high altitudes. This cuvée comes from the Viana de Bolo zone, from two plots of old vines in mica-rich granitic soils. Incredibly balanced, floral, delicate, and nuanced, this is still quite energetic, and an absolute sight to behold.
2018 Envínate ‘Lousas Parcela Seoane’ Mencía Blend, $75
An outstanding Mencía-dominant blend (with 5%-ish of Merenzao, Brancellao, and Alicante Bouschet), with fruit from 80 year-old vines tended by Miguel Anxo in the Doade zone. Whole bunch fermented using indigenous yeasts, with maturation on lees in barrel for 12 months. Incredibly focussed and quite perfumed, this has layers of complexity that reveal themselves as the wine opens up, with blood orange, curry spice, a subtly minerality, and a real vibrancy. An absolute treat to be enjoyed across an evening.
2018 Envínate ‘Lousas Viñas de Aldeas’ Mencía Blend, $48
One of our favourite releases each year, showcasing different origins, soils, altitudes, exposures, and grapes. Predominantly Mencía, with the remaining 20% being made up of Merenzao, Brancellao, Caiño, Sousón, Mouratón, Alicante, Godello, and Palomino - this is a true example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Beautifully perfumed with violets, a lovely fruit core, a fine minerality, and a nice spiced element. Outstanding value from Envínate.
2018 Fedellos do Couto ‘Lomba dos Ares’ Mencía Blend, $48
An excellent village wine, produced with fruit from different parishes of Manzaneda, with a mix of Mencía, Grao Negro, Negreda, Garnacha, Tintorera, Bastardo, and Aramón. Whole bunch fermented using indigenous yeasts, this saw sixty days on skins, prior to maturation in a mix of small and large format oak. Stunningly finessed, this is incredibly aromatic and precise, with blood orange, red berries, flowers, a light effervescence, and fine tannins.
2018 Fedellos do Couto ‘Cortezada’ Mencía, $44
Outstanding 100% Mencía from the Cortezada vineyard in Pazo do Couto, planted in gneiss, iron, slate, and quartzite rich soils. Whole bunch fermented using indigenous yeasts, and matured in a mix of French oak and concrete. A deep and powerful expression of Mencía, with a homely elegance, and a crisp edge. Drinking well in its youth but definitely has ageing potential.
2018 Fedellows do Couto ‘Bastarda’ Trousseau, $80
A delicate and ethereal Trousseau, inspired by the prolific cuvées from Ganevat. Fruit comes from two different zones in the Ribeira Sacra, with the majority being Trousseau, and around 10% Brancellao and Caiño in the mix. Whole bunch fermented with a delicate touch, and matured in French oak for seven months. The resulting wine is complex and beautifully perfumed, and very approachable after a year in bottle.