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Fanfare for the Uncommon Varieties: El Dorado in Galicia’s Ribeiro Region (6-Bottle Wine-Pack $190, All Included)

The northwestern Spanish wine production zone of Ribeiro is undergoing a renaissance. One of the vanguard producers of this movement is the Bodega of Coto de Gomariz located in the Avia valley in the autonomous community of Galicia. A unique microclimate that is influenced by both Atlantic and Continental factors allows the region’s native grapes to fully ripen and develop a floral, aromatic complexity while keeping the mouthwatering freshness that Galician wines are known for.

Galicia is one of the few oceanic climate production zones with a wealth of native grapes used in their wine. These varieties are so well-suited to their unique environment you rarely see them used elsewhere. Indeed, you’re likely never going to see a supermarket sign pointing you to the huge selection of Sousón or Ferrol-based wines. Because of Galicia’s landscape of mountains and sea, the cuisine is broad and diverse. As such, the region’s wines pair well with a myriad of dishes, from fish to fowl to filet.

Coto de Gomariz was created in 1978 by the Carreiro family. They began the area’s resurgence by recovering a vineyard that Cistercian monks had established in the 10th century. Today, they own close to 70 acres of vineyards. Coto de Gomariz winemaker Xosé Lois Sebio is one of the most admired and exciting names in Ribeiro. He employs both organic and biodynamic viticulture practices in the vineyards and all wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts.

Shisteous, granitic, and sandy soils, steep slopes, tiny yields, a unique microclimate, and the farming of the native red and white grapes of the region has allowed Coto de Gomariz to produce some of the most distinctive and expressive wines in Ribeiro.

Included in the Fanfare for the Uncommon Varieties 6-Bottle Package are one each of the following wines:

Price includes a 10% discount plus tax and delivery. We will also honor a 10% discount on any bottles you might wish to add to the package.

 

Sebio Wish, (Galicia 2016) RED, Regular Price: $43

Made only during warm vintages, “Wish” is a tribute to the pioneering post-punk band The Cure, who accompanied Xosé Lois Sebio through his youth. It is also named after the aspiration to make a single wine with fruit from very old strains growing on a plot at the limit of Ribeiro on the steep, terraced Penelas slope oriented to the northwest. This plot is always last to be picked, yet in warm years it produces a wine of fresh, floral, and fruity intensity reminiscent of Côte Rôtie. A blend of 50% Ferrol, 35% Caiño Longo, 10% Sousón, and 5% Bastardo fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged for 14 months in French Oak barrels for a wine with gorgeous aromatics of lilac, high-toned fruit, and distinct minerality. Only 94 cases produced.

 

VX Cuvee Caco (Ribeiro 2015) RED, Regular Price: $41

VX or “experimental wine” was the name written on the first barrels aged at Coto de Gomariz, and Caco is the nick-name of Ricardo Carreiro´s father. It is a blend of 50% Sousón, 30% Caiño Longo and Caiño da Terra, 15% Carabuñeira, and 5% Mencía from the “A Ferreira” estate vineyard re-planted with local varietals in 1994. Fermented with native yeasts and aged for 20 months in new French 500 liter oak barrels. Fragrant spiced dark berries and licorice on the nose precedes a sip that offers depth and focus with a hint of vanilla and framed by supple tannins. Only 208 cases produced.

 

Abadía de Coto de Gomariz (Ribeiro 2013) RED, Regular Price: $28

Abadía de Gomariz is a blend of 50% Sousón, 25% Brancellao, 20% Ferrol, and 5% Mencía from the village of Gomariz where soils are granitic with schist and clay. Though fermented in stainless steel, the wine is aged for one year in 500-liter used oak barrels, mostly of French origin, to tame some of the hairy tannins that Sousón can exhibit. A sip is juicy little forest berries with a long and winding cherry pit finish. On the nose, the berry fruit is sweeter with hints of licorice and cream. On the label is the coat of arms of the Abbey Gomariz — the oldest civil building for winemaking in the Iberian Peninsula. Only 1,600 cases produced.

 

“The Flower and the Bee” (Ribeiro 2018) RED, Regular Price: $20

This miniscule production everyday red comes from younger Gomariz vineyards planted with the native variety Sousón in mostly granitic soils. Fermented with native yeasts and aged for 4 months in barrel, this wine is the entry level of Gomariz, yet expresses the same identity of the Avia Valley terroirs as its more ambitious siblings. It’s a versatile wine full of ripe dark berry aromas with a pinch of herbs and spice and a bright finish. The lively label represents both the origin of vine fertilization, as well as the estate’s respect for nature. Only 1,250 cases produced.

 

Finca O Figueiral (Ribeiro 2017) WHITE, Regular Price: $37

70% Treixadura, 10% Godello, 10% Lado, 5% Loureira, and 5% Albariño from the single estate vineyard “O Figueiral” in Gomariz grafted with local grape varieties in 1978. The terroir is mostly clay with a subsoil of schist. Free-run juice begins fermentation in stainless steel vats and finishes in new 500 liter French Oak barrels. It is then aged over fine-lees for 10 months with periodic battonage to build body while maintaining balance. Melon, peach, and tangerine aromas with floral overtones precede a stony and precise, lush yet lively wine. Only 275 cases produced.

 

“X” (Ribeiro 2019) WHITE, Regular Price: $30

“X” is a blend of 95% Albariño and 5% Treixadura named after the schist soils (xisto in Gallego) where the grapes are grown. This single vineyard wine comes from fruit grown in the “As Penelas” plot. Free-run juice is fermented with native yeasts and then aged in stainless steel vats. Aromas of yellow fruit and honey with a touch of lemon pith precede a fleshy mid-palate, offering vibrant citrus and orchard fruit flavors braced by juicy acidity and a finish of nervy minerality. This is the kind of white wine that will please just about everyone. Only 400 cases produced.

 

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Posted on 2021.02.10 in Spain DO, Wine-Aid Packages, Ribeiro

 

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