Coto da Gomariz X, Ribeiro, Spain 2015

Coto de Gomariz X, Ribeiro, Galicia 2015.jpg
Coto de Gomariz X, Ribeiro, Galicia 2015.jpg

Coto da Gomariz X, Ribeiro, Spain 2015

17.95

In the 17th Century, the Ribeiro region of Galicia was one of Spain's most productive wine regions with over 72,000 acres under vine. Today that number has dwindled to just 7,000 acres and most of those are tiny small-holdings scattered disparately across the region. It was simply a victim of the winds of change, as the world began focusing its attention on other regions. The upside of this decline is that the region is now littered with wonderful, untapped old-vine material and growers are urgently realising its potential.

We visited Coto da Gomariz recently, in the northern part of Galicia’s Ribeiro region, and were ‘treated’ to a vertical tasting of 15 older vintages of their Albariño. I have no idea why they thought this was a good idea, because Albariño doesn’t age well, and we may have broken the world record for the longest awkward silence. No. Albariño should be enjoyed when it’s young and vibrant and bursting with Atlantic freshness, it has wonderfully expressive fruit (green melon, nectarine, white apple, that kind of thing), with bags of juice and a blade of acidity that makes it both appetite-whetting and incredibly moreish. The fact that it is unoaked helps to give it universal appeal, which is why we often recommend it for parties.

This is Gomariz’s ‘single vineyard’ expression from vines that grow on schist (or ‘xisto’ in Galician, which explains the X in the wine’s name). The addition here of a little Treixadura, a grape with naturally low acidity, adds a softer, more sensual touch to the crisp Albariño.

Press reviews:

Jancis Robinson.com: "Mainly Albariño with 5% Treixadura. From an old established vine-growing family. The wine comes from a single terraced vineyard planted on schist soils. Limited production of 5,000 bottles. Hand harvested and fermented in stainless steel, with a subsequent maturation until the following April. A very pure, fragrant and intense nose showing fresh peach and apricot. It has an elegant camomile touch. Generous fruit concentration and a brilliant backbone of acidity. Lively and mineral in its expression with a lingering sensation of refreshment on the palate. Superb Albariño, very well made and presented. It is truly a bargain. Very Good Value. 13.5% Drink 2016-2020." 17.5 points

The Wine Advocate: "The showy, aromatic and developed 2015 X has a very different nose, with plenty of flowers, apricot, quince and beeswax. It reflects the original blend dominated by Albariño and complemented by 5% Treixadura, from the single plot As Panelas planted in 2001 on schist soils that mark the palate with wide minerality. It's ripe and powerful, very different from what you might find in Rías Baixas. It is also bottled unoaked. 5,000 bottles were filled in April 2016. Great showing for the X in 2015." 93 points

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