Ribeiro, Galicia, Spain
"We didn't apply Rudolph Steiner or Fukuoka theories to get a certification. We make it this way because the vines are alive and they give the best grapes.” - Inma Pazos.
Ailalá-Ailalelo, whose name is found in traditional Galician folk songs and which means happiness (think of a variant of “Olé!), is a relatively new project, a collaboration between three expert winemakers situated in the most ancient valley in the Ribeiro DO, the Avia valley. The young oenologists behind the wines are Xosé Lois Sebio, Inma Pazos from Coto de Gomariz, and Miguel Montoto, owner of several small vineyards in the area and Inma's husband. Together they have created two wines, a white and a red,that express the incredible terroir of the region. Sábrego, the local name for the soil here, a granitic base with a mixture of sand and clay, lends a fresh and approachable style that is reflected through the biodynamically-farmed vineyards. These are remarkable wines at a fair price that show the historic potential cool-climate Spain.
“Cistercian monks laid the foundations of quality wine-growing in Ribeiro in the Middle Ages and the region’s renown grew steadily over centuries. After the disastrous 19th-century troika of oidium, mildew and phylloxera, Ribeiro subsided into a dismal backwater, planting imported high-yielding varieties (Palomino, of Sherry fame, was a favorite) and sacrificing all for quantity. Come the 1990s, a few visionaries woke again to its potential as a fine wine region, reclaiming terraces and vineyards and determined to recover its lost reputation for quality.” -Decanter, http://www.decanter.com/spain/galicia-travel-guide-639/
Click here for an excellent piece on Ailala from Jancis Robinson.
Ribeiro Blanco (Treixadura) 2016
100% Treixadura, a grape typically blended with Albariño, Loureira and/or Godello. The winemakers at Ailala believe that when handled correctly, Treixadura can make a truly compelling white wine. The grapes were picked early in the morning, gently pressed, allowed to ferment using only natural yeasts, and kept on their gross lees for four months, with regular battonage. The wine is pale gold in color with lively reflections. There are clean, powerful aromatics on the nose with apricot, white flowers and a sort of saline, sea-shell undertone. Spices such as clove, mint and fennel are also present. The palate displays sweet lemon and ripe melon with plenty of zing and grapefruit peel. A wine of great complexity and style with lots of density and persistence. This wine makes the argument for Treixadura as a truly noble grape.
Ribeiro Tinto (Sousón) 2016
85% Sousón, with the remaining 15% a blend of Ferrol, Brancellao, and Caiño Longo. Souson is known for its bracing acidity. This wine was co-fermented via spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel, followed by only four months in used French oak. It’s vividly fruity – with plum skin, blueberry, cherry and raspberry notes. Incredibly fresh and balanced.