Lalama, Dominio do Bibei, Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2013

Lalama Dominio do Bibei 3.jpg
Lalama Dominio do Bibei 3.jpg

Lalama, Dominio do Bibei, Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2013

21.95

One of the finest reds that I have tasted from Ribeira Sacra, this has such clarity and transparency through to the terroir that it’s as close as you will get to a walk in the vineyards (“We taste the land, not the grape variety” says owner Javier Dominguez). The aromas are subtle and elegant, poised midway between fruit sweetness and austerity, like a Loire Cabernet Franc or a young red Burgundy, but it doesn’t take long to open out to reveal as many layers as there are terraces on which it grows, and it encapsulates, as well as any red wine I know, that elusive concept of ‘minerality’ (think of cold rain on hot slate). Refreshment comes from a trickle of raspberry and cranberry that acidulates the wine, but it’s quickly cushioned by softer-bellied red fruits, so the overall sense is one of cold-soaked cherries, redcurrant and a hint of baking spice that sweetens any sharpness. Drink it with friends who share an interest in unusual grape varieties, geology, topography, New Wave Spanish wine or forget them altogether and just have more of it for yourself with some pata negra ham. A fully ripe wine packed with flavour but only 12.8% alc. Drink now-2022.

Press reviews:

The Wine Advocate:
“A champion in quality-to-price ratio, the red 2013 Lalama wants to replicate the traditional wine produced as a field blend that is mostly Mencía with some 10% a myriad other varieties - Brancellao, Mouratón, Sousón and Garnacha Tintorera - from many different vineyards on different soils, altitudes and expositions. The destemmed and crushed grapes fermented in 2,500, 3,500 and 4,500 litre oak vats with indigenous yeasts followed by malolactic in 300-litre barriques where it was kept for 13 months followed by a further seven months in oak vat. It has an explosive and captivating nose, an explosion of wild berries and herbs, with just a creamy touch and some spices. It's redolent of acid berries, with an electric-like sensation in the palate revealing great freshness, focused flavours, very fine tannins and a clean, long and refreshing finish. This is plain delicious, the best Lalama I remember. This combines quality, price and availability from a region where wines tend to be produced in small quantities. It's approachable and ready but should be long lived.“ 93 points

Jancis Robinson MW: “The vines for Lalama are aged from 18-100 years, planted on soils of slate, clay and granite at elevations of 300-700 m. The blend is 90% Mencía and 10% Brancellao, Mouratón, Sousón and Garnacha. The wine is aged for 13 months in old French oak barrels, seven months in 45 hl French oak tanks, followed by 16 months in bottle. Bright crimson. Sweet, floral, soft and delicate. What a joy! Easy peasy. Oak very unmarked. Super-juicy. Light and fresh. 13%. Drink now-2020.” 16.5 points

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