Ribeira Sacra Tasting Notes
Ribeira Sacra Summum, the highest red wine designation must contain a minimum of 85 per cent preferred red varieties, 60 per cent of which must be mencía.
Summum wines can be sold as a designated varietal only if the wine contains 85% of that variety.
White Summum wines must be made entirely from the preferred varieties.
Wines with just a non-Summum designation must contain at least 70% of preferred varieties and those that do not pass the Summum analytical and organoleptic tests are classifed simply as Ribeira Sacra.
owner-winemaker of Décima. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012.
(Adega is Gallego for bodega, or wine cellar)
*Tasted at the bodega
**Tasted at outdoor wine fairs in Chantada and Castro Caldelas, Ribeira Sacra.
*Adega Algueira, Doade - Sober (Lugo) Amandi subzone (Raúl Pérez, consultant)
Algueira Blanco $22 (Plurivarietal) 2008 Summum (40% godello, 40% albariño, 20% treixadura;13%) Beautiful nose of white peach, honeysuckle and minerals. Silky and rich with white peach flavors and a mineral finish. 93 pts.
Algueira 2006 Summum $30 (90% mencía, 10% merenzao; aged 10 months in 3 yr. old oak; some stems left in; 14%) Somewhat closed, attractive nose of fruit, oak and minerals. A rich, tannic, juicy, mineral-laced, somewhat oaky, but balanced that needs three years in bottle. 92 points.
*Adega Moure, Escairón (Lugo) Ribeiras do Minho
Abadia da Cova Albariño 2008 Summum $22 (100% albariño; 12.5%)
White peach and melon nose. Dry and well balanced with peachy, melony flavors and a long, stony, mineral finish. 89 points.
Abadia da Cova Mencía 2008 Summum $25 (100% mencía )
Nice nose of ripe fruit, graphite. Cabernet franc-like with sweet black currants, dark chocolate and minerals, bitter finish. 88 points.
**Adegas Chao do Couso, Pobra de Trives (Orense), Quiroga-Bibei (Raúl Pérez, consultant)
Soutollo Mencía 2007 Summum $30 (13.5%) Ripe black currants, graphite and horse barn rusticity in the nose. Smooth, sweet currant fruit with graphite minerality and structure. Good food wines. 89 points.
Alcouce Mencía 2006 Summum $25? (13.5%) Nose of oak and minerals. Big, rich, sweet, smooth with black and red currant fruit and a minerality obscured by oak tannins. 88 points.
Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez (Made at Pedro M. Rodríguez Pérez, Sober (Lugo), Amandi
El Pecado 2007 Ribeira Sacra $75 (sold as Guímaro Barrica in Spain; says 100 per cent mencía on the label, but is 80 per cent mencía, 10 per cent caíño tinto and 10 per cent garnacha tintorera; fermented in 1,500 liter egg-shaped barrels from Austria for 12 months with battonage; 13.5%).
Ripe, extracted red fruits, oak and some minerality. Deep extracted attractive red currant fruit, very juicy acidity, rustic touches, oak and minerals, a laudable example of a modern Spanish wine made to fit a commercial profile. 93 points. (Note: This wine has been rated by some as high as 98 points, but while I find it to be a good wine, it seems not to be a prime example of Ribeira Sacra.)
**Adegas Costoya, A Teixeria (Ourense), Ribeiras do Sil (“Enology” by Enológica Témera, S.L., Jorge González, a Ribiera Sacra native.)
Thémera 2005 Summum $25 (Mencía; aged briefly in acacia and chestnut; 13%) (Note to editors: sic, spelling differs maddeningly from Enológica Témera) Light oak, ripe red fruit, dark chocolate and mineral nose. A wonderfully delicious wine with deep, rich cherry, cranberry and pomegranate flavors; a superb balance of acid, fruit, dark chocolate, light oak marking and minerals. 94 points. Very good value.
D. Ventura, Losada Fernández, Ferreira de Pantón (Lugo), Ribeiras do Minho
(Consultant Gerardo Méndez of Rías Baixas’s Do Ferreiro; some of these wines may have small percentages of Brancellao and Garnacha; all are incredible bargains.)
Somewhat tropical nose. Spicy and complex with rich, sweet white peach and good acidity. 93 pts. (Also tasted was the La Pola 2004, a blend of 60% Godello, 40% Dona Blanca, which was at the quality level of a Meursault.)
Nose of exotic fruits and minerals. Impressive on the palate with fresh acidity, moderate alcohol and pretty raspberry/black cherry fruit. 91 points.
and monitor the development of the wines. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012.
Light toast, red fruits and minerals in the nose. Gutsy, rich and fruity with black currants, cherries, a slate minerality shored up with skin tannins and light oak. A delicious crowd pleasing wine that is more akin to a Bierzo wine than Ribeira Sacra. 90 points. Great value.
Brassy, gutsy, big, sweet cola and pomegranate fruit; oaky with lots of minerals. Delicious, but a bit too much of a good thing and more like a Bierzo wine than a Ribeira Sacra. Very similar to El Pecado 2007 [see note] at $25 less .) 93 points.
With him a his vineyardist-partner, Jesus Vázquez Rodríguez and visitor Basilio Izquierdo,
who made the top Rioja CUNE wines for 30 years. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012.
Pomegranate, currant and mineral nose. Balanced, perfectly ripe and rich, with plenty or juicy cranberry, pomegranate and currant flavors, dark chocolate and a long, complex, mineral-laced finish. 93 points.
White stone fruit, minerals. Delicious, sweet white peach fruit with lime, honeysuckle, stony minerals and a long, acid-laced finish. 89 points. Good value.
About the author
Mr. Dawes is currently working on a reality television
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