Hard-working vigneron Eulogio Pomares is a rising star in the far northwest corner of Spain where he receives accolades from critics and consumers alike. Although perhaps best known for his work with the region’s Albariño variety as the seventh generation winemaker at Zárate, his family’s estate, Eulogio can’t be contained and is branching out into some of “Green Spain’s” other subregions.
Fento is a partnership of Eulogio with his wife Rebeca that works with both rare and common indigenous grapes found within Galicia. Organic viticulture is difficult in the region due to humidity and mildew pressure, but Eulogio is applying the methods to bring the Fento vineyards into full organic cultivation, relying on native cover crops and natural products to do most of the work.
Fento “Bico da Ran” (Rías Baixas 2017)
Special 6-pack price: ~$92 (~$15/bottle)
Bico da Ran is 100% Albariño made from fruit grown in the sub-zone of Val do Salnés. Considered the birthplace of the Albariño grape this is the original and oldest sub-region in Rías Baixas. It has the most area under vine and the highest concentration of wineries. With an altitude below 1,000 feet and vineyards that reach the Atlantic Ocean, this is the coolest winemaking zone in the region. The land is granitic and rocky with alluvial top-soil.
Some of the best vineyards in Salnés produce the Bico da Ran fruit. The vines are 15 to 25 years old. Grapes are harvested in early morning to preserve aroma and freshness. Vinification and aging is done in stainless steel. All of this results in a wine that is aromatic with citrus and a delicate herbality. On the palate it is refreshing and crisp, with layers of crunchy orchard fruit.
Fento “Xabre” (Ribeira Sacra 2015)
Special 6-pack price: $140 (~$23/bottle)
The cuvée Xabre [SHAH-bray] is named after the weathered, sandy granite soils of Ribeira Sacra. It’s a blend of 90% Mencía with the remainder made up of Sousón, Mouratón and Garnacha, all from vines ranging between 15 and 80 years old. The fruit comes from the Quiroga-Bibei sub-zone, from terraced vineyards between 900 to 2,100 feet in elevation.
Extraordinarily perfumed, Xabre radiates notes of citrus peel, green tea, violets, fresh berries and warm terra cotta. It is clearly a wine influenced by the cool Atlantic climate. A sip is lively, graceful, fresh, dancing over the palate before velvety tannins linger on the close. With just a slight chill it’s an ideal wine to keep you company while tending the grill. Pair with everything from thick-skinned vegetables to lean red meat.