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Fedellos do Couto, Mencia Red Blend "Lomba dos Ares" Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Spain 2020

Fedellos do Couto, Mencia Red Blend "Lomba dos Ares" Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Spain 2020

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Luis Taboada, recognizing the value of his ancient, north- and east-facing vineyards, teamed up with viticulturalist Pablo Soldavini, a proponent of organic farming and winemakers Curro Bareño and Jesús Olivares to found Fedellos do Couto in 2011. Bareño and Olivares were the talented team behind Ronsel do Sil, one of the most heralded estates in Ribeira Sacra, but both began their career in the Sierra de Gredos, where they were close friends and colleagues of Dani Landi, Fernando Garcia, and Marc Isart. This association is obvious in their wines: elegant and nuanced but persistent and powerful.

The winemaking at Fedellos is minimalist: native co-fermentations, long, gentle macerations in concrete, neutral French oak barrels, or small fermentation bins with aging in concrete and/or various neutral French oak barrels and foudres, but mainly 500L demi-muids. Four wines are currently produced: Bastarda, Cortezada, and Lomba dos Ares and a field blend of white varieties, Conasbrancas.

Lomba dos Ares is Curro & Jesus’s village wine from their oldest and steepest vineyards on the west bank of the Bibei, the river that separates Ribeira Sacra from Valdeorras. Averaging about 70 years old, these sites offer a patchwork of indigenous varieties, with Mencia making up the largest share and varying amounts of Bastardo, Caiño Tinto, Negreda, Garnacha Tintorera, Aramón, etc.

Fruit is hand harvested, left whole cluster and are cofermented with natural yeasts in tank. Long, gentle maceration with pigeage for 40-60 days and aged 10 months in a 32HL oak foudre along with a few neutral 300-500L French oak barrels.

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