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  • Ferran Centelles
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  • Ferran Centelles
15 Oct 2013


See Ferran's introduction to this stunning region. The wines are listed by colour and in descending order of score.
 
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  • Algueira, Brandan 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    Godello. It has an opulent nose with very ripe apple, dry herbs and creamy notes. It has a wide palate, full of fruit with a creamy texture and some evolved flavours. It is fresh but not really dynamic. I reckon it is made from very good quality raw material. It has very consistent quality to be the entry level wine from Algueira. (FC)

    12.6%
    Drink 2013-2014
    16
  • Ponte da Boga, G Godello 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    Almost crystalline in the nose, pure, really clean and full of fresh acid green fruit, lemon, stone fruit and saline notes. It has a crunchy texture, extremely refreshing, clean and delicate finish. Almost like a top Muscadet in style, laser-like palate, one of the wines that gives me lot of pleasure, and of course if you are an acidity lover this is a must-taste wine for you. Good drinking now but I would love to see it in two years. GV (FC)

    13.4%
    Drink 2013-2016
    17.5
  • Guimaro Godello 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    This highly complex wine needs time to breathe. Notably dynamic, it keeps changing and bringing new aromas. Yellow prunes, yeasty notes and creamy sensations dominate the nose. In the mouth it is creamy with concentrated ripe stone fruit flavours but really lively. Rich, but still with excellent balance. (FC)

    13.2%
    Drink 2013-2016
    16.5
  • Moreiras Godello 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    It has a delicate and pleasant clean nose with saline, fresh herbs, lime and green fruit notes. It has a compact and concentrated texture for a Godello, with mineral sensations and a refreshing although not acidic palate. It makes me think of something close to Chablis in style. After a few minutes in the glass the wine starts to show some lees notes that take away finesse; without the development of these notes it would be a great bottle of wine. (FC)

    12.4%
    Drink 2013-2015
    16
  • Moure, Abadía da Cova Albariño 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    This is a well-known wine from a traditional winery established in 1958. It has prominent aromas, full of stone fruit, pear, fresh cut grass and flowers. It is a fruit-driven wine, not really long but with a very easy to drink and pleasant ripe fruit. It has a very good balance between freshness and fruit texture. It is an uncomplicated pleasant wine. (FC)

    13.3%
    Drink 2013-2015
    16
  • Via Romana Godello 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    The nose is a little pompous and starts to show evolution. It has smoke, quince and ripe yellow prune aromas. It is more wide than long in the palate, opulent but not dynamic and with oily texture. Slightly higher freshness would increase the balance. (FC)

    14.2%
    Drink 2012-2013
    15
  • Ronsel do Sil, Ourive Godello 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Godello. The wine shows evolution with a little acetaldehyde (oxidised green apple), it lacks more precision and cleanliness. I would have preferred to taste 2012. (FC)

    13.6%
    Drink 2012-
    14
  • Condado de Sequeiras 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    Godello, Treixadura. This has a restrained green fruit, fresh herbs and stony character. It is slightly timid. It is crunchy in texture with a consistent fruit and good length. Fresh, pleasant, well made. It is a tempting wine although it displays a note of lees at the back palate causing it to lose finesse. (FC)

    13.15%
    Drink 2013-2014
    16
  • Algueira, Cortezada 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Godello, Albariño, Treixadura. When a wine is touching in a blind tasting it means that it really has something singular and extraordinary, and this is the case for this Algueira Cortezada. Very clean and concentrated nose, it is more stony than fruity, with a well integrated toasty sensation and the same touch of popcorn that I normally find in a few top village wines from Burgundy. The flavours are complex and refined. The palate is serious and succulent, with a very great texture. It shows perfect winemaking skills, dense but fresh, mineral sensation and very deep. I think this is a great bottle that makes me recognise that Alguiera well deserves the reputation it has. (FC)

    13.4%
    Drink 2013-2016
    18
  • Algueira, Escalada 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Godello. It has a closed nose, it is not really expressive but it truly doesn’t matter for me as the palate is huge with great volume and depth. The oak is very well integrated and the texture is great, oily but concentrated, quite powerful. A wine that gives more pleasure in the palate than on the nose. (FC)

    13.8%
    Drink 2013-2016
    16.5
  • Dominio do Bibei, Lapola 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Godello, Albariño, Dona Branca. The nose shows obvious toasty oak accompanied by ripe green fruit, quince and lemon candy, slightly confected. The palate is fresher than what is expected from the nose, with a balancing acidity, volume and creamy texture. I consider the fruit to be very pure, fresh and of a very good quality. With slightly less oak this would be one of the really greatest wines within the region. (FC)

    13.4%
    Drink 2013-2015
    16.5
  • Dominio do Bibei, Lapena Godello 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    I was especially happy when I uncovered the bottle and discovered the label. Lapena has been one of my favourites for a long time and I opened hundreds of bottles of this wine from low-yielding vines (averaging less than 500 g/vine) at elBulli restaurant. It preformed really well in the blind tasting. The nose is marine, with a salty sensation and very good oak integration, a touch of smoke and hints of lemon peel. It has lots of fruits and concentration, fluid but very well filled. I really like the burgundy-like tasting profile it has. Although it shows palpable oak, I can overlook it because the stony character, the freshness, the volume, the depth and its succulence are beyond doubt extraordinary. (FC)

    13.3%
    Drink 2013-2016
    17.5

RED

  • Ponte da Boga, Alais 2009 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. This is a reductive style, not a wine to taste in a rush. First it gives some sweaty simplistic notes, however after a few minutes it starts to show its potential. The palate is light, with low levels of tannins and slightly rustic back palate. It can be considered a wild but well-tamed wine, and when reduction is lost fresh herby notes appear. (FC)

    13.6%
    Drink 2012-2015
    15.5
  • Ponte da Boga, Capricho de Merenzao 2010 Ribeira Sacra

    It has a very pale ruby colour, shows slightly reductive notes and definitely needs time to breathe. This Merenzao combines sweet notes, dry herbs and meaty nuances. It has a cutting acidity and really soft, light tannins. It is not easy to find such a delicate palate profile in Spain and although I hate comparisons it makes me think about red Mercurey. (FC)

    13.7%
    Drink 2012-2015
    16
  • Algueira Garnacha 2010 Ribeira Sacra

    It is very reductive, with clear hydrogen sulphide. I double decanted this wine and kept it in the glass for 15 minutes but the wine was still reductive. It has a savoury but still light palate with refreshing acidity and a reliable black fruit. Tannins can be slightly drying thus lacking definition at the back palate. (FC)

    13.28%
    Drink 2013-2015
    15
  • Guimaro, Finca Meixeman 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. 40% whole cluster, very long fermentation of 50-60 days and 12 months in oak. It has a very clean and well-defined nose, plenty of fresh red fruits, it is fragrant, flowery (violets) touch of nutmeg and a flash of farmyard in the background. It is a complex wine with a very pleasurable nose. I love its palate profile, refreshing, long, mouthwatering, light and delicate with really soft tannins. This is a very good bottle of wine for those loving light red wines. (FC)

    14.2%
    Drink 2013-2016
    17.5
  • Guimaro, Finca Pombeirás 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. 100% whole cluster, very long fermentation of 50-60 days and 12 months in oak. The aromas are dominated by ripe red fruit, touches of kirsch liqueur and hints of sweet spices such as vanilla, the nose is quite dynamic and keeps changing to herbal notes. It has a juicy palate with concentrated fruit and well-integrated tannins. It is fuller than the average Mencía from Ribeira Sacra. The acidity balances the black fruit compote taste. It is an easy to enjoy wine. (FC)

    14.2%
    Drink 2013-2018
    16
  • Ronsel do Sil, Alpendre 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Merenzao. Very pale ruby colour. The nose is very subtle, it does not have much intensity and it is dominated by ripe red fruits and sweet spices like cloves and cinnamon. Merenzao is comparable to Pinot Noir in style, almost tannin-less, delicate and light. The wine is a very adequate and delicate drink although the fruit is slightly sweet and the ripeness is evident. The wine on one side is very delicate but the character of the fruit is really ripe. I can imagine this wine to be great in a cold vintage. (FC)

    15.4%
    Drink 2013-2014
    15.5
  • Algueira Merenzao 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    It has a very closed nose giving some brine-like flavours, however it opens up superbly after few minutes and a proper decantation, it combines stony notes and wild red fruits. It has a thin and slim palate, it is so delicate that almost tastes as if it was a white wine, with a lively acidity, really easy drinking and deep. If you are a top Gamay lover this is a bottle that you will love to drink. (FC)

    13.4%
    Drink 2013-2016
    17
  • Via Romana 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. It is an aromatically clean style of Mencía displaying dry herbs, black fruits and smoke. The palate is consistent but extremely pleasant. It is not the deepest Mencia but the juicy black fruit, the light tannins and the vivid palate makes it very pleasant. It is a tempting wine and GV for less than 7€ (retail price in Spain). (FC)

    12.7%
    Drink 2013-2016
    16.5
  • Ponte da Boga, Bancales Olvidados 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. The wine shows reductive aromas, but if you take your time it will give lots of pleasure. I find it still quite young, it has a long way still to go to match all the elements together. It has light and delicate tannins and concentrated refreshing fruit on the plate. It has no shortage of fruit but the reduction is dominating the palate and it looks still slightly skinny. I would love to drink it in two years' time and I reckon that can be a great investment in pleasure for the future. (FC)

    14.3%
    Drink 2015-2020
    16.5
  • Ronsel do Sil, Vel'uveyra 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. The nose is like a red fruit tea, combining earthiness and candy style red fruits. It has a light and well-polished palate but the fruit could be more deep and long. Some tired symptoms make it lack dynamism. Good drink but not much excitement. (FC)

    13.8%
    Drink 2013-2014
    15
  • Algueira, Pizarra 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. It is marvellous and electrifying, with the ability to convey emotions even though being tasted blind. Very clean nose driven by the spiciness and the stoniness more than the fruit, expressive and complex. The fruit is concentrated but still light, delineated with clinical accuracy, very pure. The tannins are extremely soft and well integrated and the overall sensation is refreshing and flavourful. One of the most delicate wines in Spain. (FC)

    13.1%
    Drink 2013-2020
    18.5
  • Ponte da Boga, Expression 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. This wine shows a reductive style, extremely closed and demanding decanting. It has forward and savoury fruit, which is slightly hidden because of the reduction. I feel that this is not the kind of wine that would shine in a blind tasting because is not instantaneous; it keeps evolving very gradually and very slowly. I feel a combination of freshness and dense black fruit which is wild and untamed. It is kind of intriguing and will make you talk and discuss through a meal. (FC)

    13.7%
    Drink 2013-2018
    16.5
  • José Manuel Rodriguez, Decima 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. This wine has simple black fruit aromas and a touch of black pepper. I found the simplicity to be favourable, it is frank and not pretentious, a very good example of what a Mencía without make up should taste of. It is fresh rather than deep, but still with good balance and youthful tannins. It is sincere and easy to enjoy. (FC)

    12.7%
    Drink 2013-2016
    16
  • Moure, Abadía da Cova Mencía 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    It has a reductive nose but it opens up quickly. It has slightly wild farmyard notes, touch of dry herbs and sour cherries. Very good job done on the palate, with a high but pleasant acidity, long and firm texture. It is a very inviting bottle despite its reductive notes. GV (FC)

    13.3%
    Drink 2013-2015
    16.5
  • Condado de Sequeiras 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. This is a traditional style of Mencía showing wild black fruits, slightly farmyardy, meaty with a touch of paprika. It lives half way between rusticity, because of reduction, and finesse because of the palate - which is well polished, light and long. (FC)

    13%
    Drink 2013-2015
    15.5
  • Rectorai de Amandi 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. Rectoral de Amandi is the exception to the rule in the small-holding structure of Ribeira Sacra: they own more than 100 ha of vines and produce 2.7 million bottles, quite far ahead in terms of production compared with all the rest of the smaller wineries within the region. After knowing that I give more merit to its score. The wine is really youthful and well made, is fresh with low alcohol and it has a genuine black fruit flavour. The tannins are still to be integrated, not massive but a bit rough. The overall palate is light without much concentration but a very fair glass of wine if you are looking for a young refreshing wine. (FC)

    12.3%
    Drink 2013-2015
    16
  • Jorge Enrique Carnero Fuiza 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. Very closed farmyard nose, the fruit is not shining. It is slightly austere, but fresh and with a juicy fruit. It is youthful with still some CO2 still to be integrated. Not pretentious but showing too much rusticity. (FC)

    13.7%
    Drink 2013-2015
    14.5
  • San Mamed, Linaxe de Lupián 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. This is a simple and easy drinking Mencía, less concentrated than the average Mencia from Ribeira Sacra. It has a juicy fruit and it is full of fresh plump blackberry. It is an adequate drink but not really exciting. (FC)

    13.2%
    Drink 2013-2015
    15
  • Moreiras, Linaxe de Lupián Mencía 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    This is a traditional style of Mencía from a cellar dating back to 1692. It is meaty and minty with lots of fresh red fruit aromas. It has a pleasant but imperfect palate with the freshness dominating the fruit which makes the wine slightly short. It’s a good drink for those loving refreshing wine. (FC)

    12.4%
    Drink 2013-2015
    16
  • Ponte da Boga, P Mencía 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    It is extremely youthful and has yet to integrate all the components. It has a savoury and consistent palate, very polished tannins, lots of refreshing flavours and touch of farmyard. I find it authentic and honest. However, I would prefer to taste it in two years' time. A very good option if you like cellaring wines. (FC)

    12.7%
    Drink 2015-2018
    16
  • Regina Viarum 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    This is an expressive wine, on one side it's meaty and concentrated with lot of black pepper notes and on the other has some pleasant black fruit aromas. It is agreeable and easy to drink despite its pronounced aromatic character. The tannins are firm and they might be more polished, however the wine is satisfying and reminds me in some ways of Saumur-Champigny reds. (FC)

    13.4%
    Drink 2013-2016
    16.5
  • Marcos Fernandez, Cruceiro 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    It has some acetaldehyde notes which make it seem tired. It has a juicy and concentrated fruit but the palate is slightly dull. Some sawdust notes at the back palate. (FC)

    13%
    Drink 2013-
    14
  • Algueira, Mencía Joven 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    Algueira wines were truly a revelation after uncovering all the bottles from the blind tasting, however I found this Mencía Joven to be the least accurate of the whole range. It is extremely youthful and slightly reduced demanding time in the glass. It has a forward fruit but it doesn’t linger, high lively acidity and a powerful fruit in the palate giving a wild sensation. Not perfectly balanced. It is an adequate drink for a young wine despite its austerity. (FC)

    12.8%
    Drink 2013-2015
    15
  • Santa Maria de Nogueira, Finca a Cuarta 2012 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. This is a reductive style of Mencía although it has its strength in the medium body palate profile; it is very well delineated with concentration, balance, chalky tannins and cleaner palate than nose. I am very sensitive to the mineral sensation I can feel. When it loses its reduction it releases meaty and fresh notes. (FC)

    13%
    Drink 2013-2016
    16
  • Moure, Abadía da Cova Barrica 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. One of these occasions where I would love to put an end to the uncontrolled use of oak. The palate is wonderful; it has balance, concentration, freshness and length. It has tons of fresh fruit, but the obvious toasted oak (I must say, good quality and clean oak) doesn’t leave the fruit to shine. Even with the prominent oak I reckon the wine is elegant. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2013-2016
    16
  • Moure, Abadía da Cova Moure de Autor 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. I found this wine to be slightly confected, with a dominating oak sensation; however I reckon the winemaking standards are high. It has ripeness and creaminess not common in the region and I can see the winery has done lots of efforts to produce its signature wine. The fruit on the palate is fresh and concentrated and the tannins are rounded and ripe. It has the sensation of being misplaced compared with the typical Mencía. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2013-2016
    15.5
  • Regina Viarum, Barrica Mencía 2011 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. This is a frank wine despite the noticeable oak, lots of fresh black fruit on the nose, and a touch of sawdust and cloves. Concentrated but refreshing, with integrated alcohol and high acidity. It is convincing. (FC)

    13%
    Drink 2013-2015
    16
  • Dominio do Bibei, Barrica Brancellao 2010 Ribeira Sacra

    I confess I love Dominio do Bibei, however this Brancellao Barrica did not perform as brilliantly as I expected in the blind tasting. It has an obvious mint character and the oak is overpowering the delicate fruit that Brancellao normally has. However, it is light and soft on the palate with a hint of bitterness at the back. The presence of oak sacrifices subtlety. (FC)

    14.2%
    Drink 2013-2015
    15
  • Dominio do Bibei, Barrica Mouraton 2010 Ribeira Sacra

    This is one of the most delicate wines you can experience in Spain, the tannins are really thin and elegant, the oak is present but very pleasant and the wine shows a refreshing acidity that leaves your mouth ready for the next sip. It has a very consistent quality. If you like subtle but acidic palates this is a must-taste wine. In fact, I find it to be very Pinot in style. (FC)

    14%
    Drink 2013-2016
    17
  • Dominio do Bibei, Lalama Mouraton 2010 Ribeira Sacra

    Garnacha, Mouratón. The nose is restrained and shows cassis and smoke. Very good for drinking now, already mellow and softened. It is a delicate wine with a lifted sensation and not extremely concentrated. It has a very clean but obvious oak. The acidity is high but well integrated. It is a very well resolved wine. (FC)

    13.1%
    Drink 2013-2016
    16
  • Condado de Sequeiras, Barrica Mencía 2010 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. At the beginning the oak sensation is overpowering the fruit, but given enough time I start to like it more and more. The quality is consistent and the style is well delineated, fresh without excessive fruit, long and delicate despite the obvious oak. The wine is light with a high vivid acidity but still deep and stony in character. It has a much better palate than nose. (FC)

    13%
    Drink 2013-2016
    16
  • Moreiras, Barrica Mencía 2010 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. The nose is dominated by a toasty and smoke sensation coming from the noticeable oak. It has a moderate fruit with tiny acidity and slightly bitter back palate. The oak is also very obvious in the palate and I think is blocking all the subtlety the wine has. (FC)

    12.6%
    Drink 2013-2015
    14.5
  • Regina Viarum, Barrica Mencía 2010 Ribeira Sacra

    The wines from Regina Viarum achieved very consistent notes through the tasting. Conversely the Mencía Barrica was the less surprising of the wines presented from the winery. The nose is minty, with a restrained fruit and slightly blocked (not changing during the tasting). The palate is riper than the average Mencía with a plummy and juicy texture. I think the ripeness is taken to the limit although the balance is correct. It has a farmyard flavour in the background. (FC)

    14.2%
    Drink 2013-2016
    15.5
  • Dominio do Bibei, Lacima 2010 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencia. There is a Spanish Sommelier expression that we regularly use among colleagues, the wine is Pinotea, meaning in a funny way that it looks like a Pinot Noir, and Lacima has a lot to do with Pinot in terms of overall sensation. Really refined nose with a bright red fruit and pencil lead sensation. The palate is so delicate, pure, clean, laser like, aerial and with a clear mineral sensation. It is promising and has a great future. One of those wines that seem to have nothing on the palate but is extremely pleasurable. The wine can be bought in Spain for 35€. (FC)

    12.1%
    Drink 2014-2020
    18.5
  • Jorge Enrique Carnero Fuiza, Don Diego Barrica Mencía 2009 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. It has some minty notes and a refreshing nose, well delineated in the mouth showing vivid acidity, polished tannins and just a moderate length. The wine is driven by the freshness and not by the fruit. A well elaborated Mencía and a very good drink. (FC)

    13.9%
    Drink 2013-2017
    16
  • Algueira, Caravel 2009 Ribeira Sacra

    Mencía. It has an evolved nose with tertiary aromas such as forest floor, mushrooms and wet leaves dominating. It is a very good drink to see the characteristics of a mature Mencía however I would not recommend keeping it for a long time. The palate is soft and delicate with a fine tannic grip and just a moderate length. (FC)

    13.4%
    Drink 2013-
    16