Bastarda, Fedellos do Couto, Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2014

Bastarda Fedellos do Couto.jpg
Bastarda Fedellos do Couto.jpg

Bastarda, Fedellos do Couto, Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2014

29.95

"Fedellos do Couto is one of the most exciting new names in Ribeira Sacra." - The WIne Advocate

Weighing in at a bantamweight 11.8% alcohol, this is a light-framed wine that your grandma would probably say needs a good meal. Light in colour and body, it's made from the brilliantly named Bastarda grape (aka Trousseau in France) and gleams like a pale ruby in your glass. It's delicately flavoured, showing juicy red berries and sour red cherries cut with redcurrant and cranberry and the influence of the time that it spent in oak is conspicuous by its absence. Despite the filigree tannins, it's a wine that will age counter-intuitively well, just as Trousseau does in the Jura. If you like northern hemisphere Pinot Noir, taken right to the edge of ripeness, stopping just shy of underripeness, then this is a wine you will really appreciate. 12% alc. Drink now-2024.

The Wine Advocate: "There's also an elegant varietal Trousseau named with the local name of the red Jura grape, 2014 Bastarda, a mixture of grapes from Ribas do Sil and Bibei zones within Ribeira Sacra. As with all their wines, it fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in well-seasoned 500-litre French oak barrels. Despite the 'normal' and dry harvest the wine only reached 11.8% alcohol. As in 2013, this wine is not part of the appellation. There is a strong vegetal strike, it reminded me more of a Cabernet Franc than a Trousseau, spicy and earthy, less varietal than other Merenzaos. The palate is sharp as a knife, with vibrant acidity and a long finish, where the acid berries and leafy flavors linger on your tongue for a long time. 1,500 bottles were filled in November 2015.

Fedellos do Couto is one of the most exciting new names in Ribeira Sacra. The wines are in charge of Jesús Olivares and Curro Bareño, who were responsible for getting Ronsel do Sil off the ground. Curro has a day job at Bernabeleva in Gredos. They teamed up with Luis Taboada whose family owned the Cortezada vineyard and Pablo Soldavini who also had some vineyards. 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. Winemaking philosophy is quite minimalist, fermentation with indigenous yeasts and use of neutral, well-seasoned oak to create three reds and one white - always from local varieties, including the Bastarda, which is none other than the Trousseau from Jura, but adapted over centuries to the local conditions. 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." 92 points

Jancis Robinson: "Less wild than their other reds, with lovely peppery notes and sour cherry fruit. Very little tannin, but plenty of acid." 17 points

 

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