NEW VINTAGE! Envinate Lousas 'Vinas de Aldea', Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2017

Envinate Lousas Vino Aldea.jpg
Envinate Lousas Vino Aldea.jpg

NEW VINTAGE! Envinate Lousas 'Vinas de Aldea', Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2017

24.95

After what feels like an interminable wait, we can happily announce that the Vinas de Aldea is finally back in stock!

The buzz about the Ribeira Sacra region is only going to get louder when people taste wines like this. The region seems to be spearheading a new direction in Spanish wine towards lighter, fresher, silkier reds with lower alcohol and an appetising dryness that makes them so versatile with food, showing more of an affinity with the textural fragility of Pinot Noir, for example, than the ‘oak soups’ that you often find in modern Rioja or the Ribera del Duero. This is a fantastic introduction to Spain’s new bearing, which is really gathering pace in the ‘Atlantic’ appellations around Galicia, and I can't recommend it highly enough. The Lousas ‘Vinas de Aldea’ 2017 is Envinate's equivalent of a ‘village’ wine, in the Burgundian sense, sourced from 12 different parcels in various sub-regions of the Ribeira Sacra ranging from 15 to 60 years of age and located between 400 and 600 metres altitude on varied soils of slate and granite depending on the location.

The Vinas de Aldea 2017 is predominantly made from Mencia, with a few local varieties thrown in for good measure (Brancellao, Merenzao, Mouraton, Bastardo, Garnacha Tintorera), and the grapes were foot-trodden and fermented with whole-clusters (i.e. with the stems) in small open vats. It’s oh so fine and elegant and beautifully tailored to fit its shape. The aromas are pure and wild, suggestive of shiny cherry skins, fraises des bois, crushed rubies and purple flowers, while the flavours glide across the palate, evoking dark cherry, juicy red grapes, blood orange, a hint of white pepper (typical of Mencia) and a suggestion of cool minerals. It tastes best if you drink it slightly below room temperature. It’s an utterly beguiling Spanish red and you shouldn’t hesitate in snapping some up while stocks last, which they won't, because the total production is just 1,000 cases. 12.5% alc. Drink now-2023.

Press review:

The Wine Advocate: “Unfortunately, like the rest of the 2017s from Envínate in Ribeira Sacra, the 2017 Lousas Viñas de Aldea will be sold without the appellation of origin because of different, mostly bureaucratic, problems with the control body. For example, this beautiful, expressive and aromatic wine was rejected by the tasting panel because they found faults in the wine. I can tell you there are no defects in the wine, but it doesn't smell of exotic fruit from selected yeasts and doesn't reek of oak from aging in new barrels. So, if that's what they expect from the appellation wines, we might as well forget about the appellation. Anyway, the different plots are fermented separately, and they make a final blend of the wine that is aged 30% in concrete and the rest in used barriques, with a majority of grapes from Ribera del Sil. This is expressive and has been like that from the beginning, and even three weeks after bottling, the wine didn't show any fatigue, dizziness or anything at all. It's elegant, polished and really easy to drink, a little lighter than the 2016 I tasted next to it.” 93 points

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