Fedellos do Couto Lomba dos Ares 2014
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Robert Parker, Jr.'s Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Lomba dos Ares is a red field blend from a plot of old vines containing mainly Mencía, Garnacha Tintorera, Negreda, Grao Negro, Merenzao (also known as Bastardo or Bastarda, and of course Trousseau!), Caíño and Aramón, from a hilltop in the Bibei Valley at 700 meters altitude not that far from Valdeorras. The vines are over 60-years-old, head-pruned and planted at an altitude of 450 to 650 meters. The standard modus operandi is to ferment the full clusters with indigenous yeasts in plastic bins and to mature the wine in used French oak barrels of different sizes, 300 and 500 liters. This was quite reductive when I tasted it and it took longer than the Cortezada to open up, but it finally showed its nuances and depth, with a similar profile, floral and with acid berries, some curry and lots of flinty aromas - a little meatier. The palate shows the sharpness and precision of the 2014s, with great focus, purity and acidity. This is different to Cortezada, but again at similar quality level. 4,400 bottles.
The base of the project are the vineyards belonging to the Pazo do Couto, an ancient manor dating to the 12th century belonging to the Taboada family. The vineyards are on decomposed granite and schist soils at the southern and eastern end of the Ribeira Sacra, in the sub-zones of Ribeiras do Sil and Quiroga-Bibei. They also rent some vineyards and buy grapes from local growers. They are looking into expanding with the idea to reach a maximum of 35,000 bottles.
Fedellos do Couto is one of the most exciting new names in Ribeira Sacra. This has to be one of the more exciting new projects in Ribeira Sacra and the whole of Galicia, with wines that are often a real bargain. If they achieve this in their first two vintages, what would be the limit once they develop a better knowledge of the terroirs and vineyards of the Sil? Keep your eyes peeled." Apr 2016
Trade Notes: "Lomba dos Ares, literally the hilltop of Ares, is a vineyard in the Val do Bibei at an elevation between 700 and 750 meters above sea level and quite near the border with Valdeorras. Here the soils changes gradually as you descend from the rocky granite soil at the top of the slope to sandy schist at the bottom. Being an old vineyard, it has a patchwork of different varieties, mainly Mencia, Merenzao, Caiño, and Mouratón – all of which are included in the final blend. Only available in modest quantities, the Lomba dos Ares is worth seeking out as it quite deftly manages to capture the finesse of Ribeira Sacra with a profound depth of minerality and richness that seem almost contradictory."
||750ml, cool cork with wax seal
|Varietal||Mencia, Merenzao, Mouraton, Caiño Tinto
|Aging||in 500L demi-muids of neutral French oak
|Region||Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Spain
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