Daterra Viticultores, stunning wines from Laura Lorenzo in Ribeira Sacra
One of my discoveries of the 2018 edition of Simplesmente Vinho was the wines of Laura Lorenzo. Previously working with Domain de Bibei, in 2014 she set out on her own to form Daterra Viticultores. She’s based in Manzenada in the Bibei Valley, in Galicia’s Ribeira Sacra. While Ribeira Sacra isn’t a large region, it does have quite distinct terroirs, and part of her goal is to showcase these differences in her wines.
She works with 25 vineyard plots, and in total there are 5 hectares of vines, so this is precision parcellation. Winemaking is simple and quite natural. The reds are usually destemmed (athough maybe 10% whole bunch is employed in some cuvees in warmer years), and there’s a short, usually one-week, maceration. The wine then goes to barrel (chestnut or oak), or foudres.
Production is around 18 000 bottles per year.
Daterra Viticultores Casas de Enriba 2016 Valdeorras, Spain
This is a Mencia from a south-facing vineyard at 550 m altitude, with granitic clay/loam soils. Aged in used 500 litre oak and 1000 litre chestnut barrels. It’s beautifully aromatic with perfumed red cherries. Fine and bright with enticing aroma. The palate is nicely textural with silky red cherries and fine spices. So beautiful. 94/100
Daterra Viticultores Portela do Vento 2016 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
90% Mencia, with the balance a mix of Alacabte, Merenzao, Mouraton and Gran Negro. From two vineyards in Chanteiro and Terras de Trives at 350-700 m and on granitic sandy/loam soils. 11 days maceration with some stems, aged in a 4000 litre foudre and used small oak. 12.5% alcohol. Very fine and expressive with red cherries and fine herbs. Really floral. The palate has a sappy twist to the sweet fruit with some structure under the fine spices, raspberries and cherries. 95/100
Daterra Viticultores Azos da Vila 2016 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
This comes from vineyard plots in Manzaneda (Val do Bibei), granitic soils, 400-750 m. 20 day maceration on skins, aged in 225 and 500 litre oak. This is a blend of Mouraton, Gran Negro, Mencia, Garnacha Tintorera, Merenzao, Dona Blanca, Colgadeira and Godello. Old vines. So fine, linear and expressive with fresh sappy rasoberry and cherry fruit. Lovely acidity and great balance to the fruit. So elegant with real finesse and brightness. 95/100
Daterra Viticultores Azos do Pobo 2016 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
This is from Soutipedre, and single plots on this mountainside with schist and slate soils. The varieties are Mouraton, Gran Negro, Mencia, Garnacha Tintorera and Merenzao, and this is aged in small oak. Brooding black cherry and raspberry aromatics. Vivid and expressive with lovely supple, grippy, elegant red and black fruits with some structure. Picked on the cusp with lots of ageing potential: a beautiful wine. 96/100
Daterra Viticultores Gavela da Vila 2016 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
This is Palomino macerated on the skins for seven days. Very textural and fine with a bit of spicy bite. Supple with pear and citrus fruit, and a hint of mineral. Stony and grippy on the finish. 92/100
Daterra Viticultores Evea de Vila 2015 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
A blend of Godello and Dona Blanca. Because of mildew, this wasn’t made in 2016 and the grapes went into the reds. It’s nutty, intense and mineral on the nose. Lovely weight on the palate with almonds, pears, spice and citrus. There’s a lovely texture with some oxidative hints. Fine spiciness on the finish. Quite profound. 94/100
UK agent Carte Blanche
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