2020 Envínate Lousas 'Viña de Aldea' Tinto
Ribeira Sacra, Spain
Envínate (“wine yourself”) is the brainchild of Laura Ramos, Jose Martínez, Roberto Santana and Alfonso Torrente, four friends who met while studying wine making at the University of Miguel Hernández in Alicante. Their work, both in the vineyard and winery, is currently focused on exploring the ancient, Atlantic-infused terruños of Ribeira Sacra and the Canary Islands, as well as exceptional vineyard plots across the Iberian Peninsula. The Envínate philosophy is simple: let each parcela, or single parcel, fully express itself in the finished wine by utilizing old-fashioned farming and winemaking methods. The results are some of the most exciting wines being produced in Spain today.
Lousa is the name for the slate soil that predominates in the Ribeira do Sil and Amandi subzones of the Ribeira Sacra region. The slate serves a great purpose, heating up during the daytime sun to help the grapes ripen, as well as imparting the minerality and intensely floral and spicy aromatics that are the trademarks of the Ribeira Sacra region’s wines. Aldea means “village” in the Galician dialect. In addition to focusing on single parcel wines, Envínate produces village wines in each region where they work. Vineyards are practicing organic with vines that average 60 years old.
For their village wine, the Mencía and other co-planted grapes (Mencía, Merenzao, Brancellao, Sousón, Garnacha Tintorera, Mouratón) were hand-harvested, fermented 100% whole cluster with wild yeasts in open top plastic tubs with 25-40 days maceration (except Souson, which sees only 7 days), then raised in used 300 and 400 liter French oak for 11 months with no racking. A touch of SO2 is added only at bottling, and the finished wine sees no fining or filtration. This wine shows delicate herbal tones and vibrant red fruit on the nose, and a medium-bodied palate brimming with macerated strawberries, mineral notes, and delicate tannins. Think Côte Rôtie meets cru Beaujolais.
95 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. "100% whole bunch, foot trodden. Very fine and juicy with red cherries to the fore. Fresh and very fine with floral aromatics, lovely texture and elegance, and a sour cherry finish. Velvety, but also fresh and detailed. "