Teira X, Manuel Formigo, Ribeiro, Spain 2015
Teira X, Manuel Formigo, Ribeiro, Spain 2015
"I am left wondering what more one could ask for in a wine, after tasting this. Truly impressive and reaching the pinnacle of Ribeiro wine. Bold fruit expression, with excellent concentration and minerality. Superb definition and purity on the nose. Electric intensity with an attractive fresh edge. Great balance and length. Superb potential.” - 18.5 points, Jancis Robinson.com
“Teira X is produced by a rising star named Manuel Formigo. He is a colleteiro and winemaker of great precision, trained at Domaine de Chevalier. He is working with fine lees and neutral yeast and achieves superlative wines of great purity.” - Ferran Centelles for Jancis Robinson.com
When we met owner and winemaker, Manuel Formigo, in March of this year, his arm was in a sling. Now, normally, if you meet the owner of a wine estate in March, and their arm is in a sling, you can be pretty sure that it was either a skiing accident or they fell off their polo pony. That wasn’t and was never going to be the case here. Manuel’s shoulder had popped out of its socket while lifting a barrel onto a rack. “It happens every year” he said resignedly. Manuel is what you would definitively call a ‘hands-on’ winemaker.
He owns 4.5 hectares of indigenous vines (Alvilla, Caiño, Treixadura, Ferrol, Sousón, Loureira, Tintilla, Brancellao… to name but a few), grown at altitude in the Ribeiro region of Galicia, in north west Spain, and he plants, prunes, picks and vinifies everything by hand. He is one of the most humble winemakers I have had the pleasure to meet, seemingly devoid of ego, and the good news that correlates from that is that his wines are incredibly good value. He said that he has all he needs in life, he eats well, he sleeps well and he has a happy family, so he doesn’t want for more. It may seem counterintuitive, when a wine has been given the highest-ever rating for a Spanish white wine by Jancis Robinson, to give the winemaker first billing before the wine itself, but he deserves it. I hope that he will come to London one day so that you can meet him too at one of our tastings.
Jancis Robinson: "I am left wondering what more one could ask for in a wine, after tasting this. Truly impressive and reaching the pinnacle of Ribeiro wine. Bold fruit expression, with excellent concentration and minerality. Superb definition and purity on the nose. Electric intensity with an attractive fresh edge. Great balance and length. Superb potential.” 18.5 points
And so to the wine, the wonderful ‘Teira X’ 2015, a thrilling, intense, unoaked blend of Treixadura, Loureira, Albariño and Alvilla, which crackles with energy and tension. In the glass it glimmers a pale silver gold with green tints - a clean, fresh look. All the varieties are vinified separately (an obsession of Manuel’s), so that he can understand the idiosyncrasies of the different ingredients before blending, allowing him to build the wine up in layers and it tastes as complex as it is to produce. The palate bristles with tangy fruit intensity, but always counterpoised by riper elements, so that it has a vibrant ‘ying-yang’ energy. There are alternating waves of lime sorbet, white pear, chalky minerals, nectarine and lemon sours, which keep things dynamic.
Manuel is particularly proud of the Alvilla component, because his father saved that variety from extinction and they now own the only vines in the whole of Ribeiro (he will be releasing the world’s only pure Alvilla later this year, named after his father, Tino). He says it adds a peachy ripeness and an aromatic intensity to the wine. Manuel loves it so much that he is grafting it onto all his Palomino rootstocks (he hates Palomino!). There is no batonage (stirring of the lees), so the wine remains very pure, crystalline and precise, but with wonderfully ripe succulence. If you like minerally Chablis or Muscadet or Albariño (of course), then you are probably already predisposed to enjoy this, as it’s somewhere along the same path, but with a sea-breezy, lemony, Atlantic charm that screams Galicia! 13% alc. Drink now-2020.
The Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Teira X is an old vine Treixadura blend with some 15% each Loureira, Albariño and Alvilla from grapes grown in their Miñoteira vineyard (known as Teira), where the soils are sand-based granite, extremely poor and south-facing—an orientation that helps to achieve good ripeness. Albariño and Alvilla fermented together and the other two grapes fermented separately, as they were harvested at different times. It fermented with neutral yeasts and was bottled after a number of rackings, always on waning moon. This comes from one of the oldest Treixadura plants in Ribeiro from the higher altitude terraces on decomposed granite soils, where the vines need to dig their roots deep to survive. It has a subtle, captivating nose with aromas reminiscent of moss and wet river stones. None of these wines are explosive in the nose; it's in the palate where you see the depth and concentration, with sharp, laser-like cut flavours and very good overall balance. It has an intense mineral sensation that provides for a very tasty, long and almost salty finish. This could very well be the best Teira X to date. Seeing how the 2011 shows today (according to Formigo, the warmest vintage he's seen), I'd say this is going to have a nice evolution in bottle. 4,000 bottles produced. There are usually two different bottlings from the same blend. The 2011 was still sharp and with a fully developed nose, not in danger of being too old." 94 points
Jancis Robinson.com: "I am left wondering what more one could ask for in a wine, after tasting this. Truly impressive and reaching the pinnacle of Ribeiro wine. Bold fruit expression, with excellent concentration and minerality. Superb definition and purity on the nose. Electric intensity with an attractive fresh edge. Great balance and length. Superb potential." 18.5 points
James Suckling: "A white with a nose reminiscent of dried pineapple, green apples and wet stones. Floral, too. Full body, dense and dried fruits and a long and flavourful finish. A beauty. A selection from their best vineyard made up of mainly Treixadura with Loureiro and Albariño. Among the best of Ribeiro. Drink now." 94 points
"The Teira is amazing... Definitely the best white I've had this summer." - Ms. E.H.
"Had the Teira at the weekend………just delightful…….as HM Jancis R says……..what more could you want?" - Mr. G.C.
"I was drinking the Teira X last night - lovely! - Mr. J.F.