Lapola, Dominio do Bibei , Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2015

Lapola.jpg
Lapola.jpg

Lapola, Dominio do Bibei , Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2015

21.95

A spectacular white wine from a spectacular region, Ribeira Sacra, where, as one local winemaker told us “the vines drink stone”. It’s a blend of Godello (80%), Albariño (15%) and Doña Blanca (5%), but the grapes play second fiddle to the soil, which somehow finds its way into the wine with an impression of hammer-smashed stones. Add to that a suggestion of yellow citrus fruits, a sprinkle of fresh herbs and you have a very fine white wine with great purity, poise and length. I love its verve and precision, it’s the antithesis of old-fashioned, oak-aged Spanish white wines, it’s vibrant and zesty, but far from simple and the texture is influenced by its mineral content, so it feels fine-grained, a little bit austere almost, like a flinty Chablis, but the warmth of the climate brings some stone fruit nectar to sweeten the finish. It’s a versatile wine as far as food goes, so try it with dishes that go well with mineral whites (shellfish, oysters, sashimi), but it’s equally enjoyable on its own. 13.5% alc. Drink now-2021.


Press reviews:

The Wine Advocate: “The 2015 Lapola is a white blend of Godello with 15% Albariño and some 5% Dona Blanca from various younger and older vineyards on clay and sand soils rich in schist. It fermented in a combination of 600-litre barrels, 1,200- and 2,400-litre oak vats and egg-shaped cement vats with indigenous yeasts. The wines were kept in their fermentation vessels and then blended and put back in the eggs for natural stabilisation. It has a young nose with some creamy notes intermixed with flowers, white fruit and a touch of fennel. The palate felt very harmonious, clean and focused, with primary flavours.” 91+ points

Jancis Robinson MW: “Dominio do Bibei was established in 2001 and is one of the driving forces behind the push for quality in Ribeira Sacra. Their wines are modern and made from traditional varieties. Vines for the Lapola are aged between 10-100 years, planted on schist and slate soils at elevations of 400-750 m. The blend is 80% Godello, 15% Albariño and 5% Doña Blanca. Fermented separately depending on the variety, soil, altitude and exposition. Ageing was first in barriques and foudres, followed by time in concrete tanks. The wine has lees contact, but no malolactic fermentation. Very competent. Tight, well-balanced fruit. Interesting, with some richness underneath. Vibrant, reverberant and a very slightly sour finish. 13.5%. Drink now-2023.”

Jancis Robinson (Julia Harding): “Rounded, full citrus flavours, deep fruited and with a dry, light grain adding length and complexity to that ripe pear flavour. Mineral aftertaste and exceptionally long.“ 16.5 points

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