D. Ventura Vina do Burato 2015
Light in aspect with floral and fresh aromas. The palate is medium bodied with rose petal and red fruit flavors framed with fresh tannins.
Pair with: wild mushrooms, chicken, chorizo, and eggs.
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One of the most stunning landscapes in Spain is located in the heart of Galicia, in an area known as the Ribeira Sacra (Sacred Banks). Driving on the N-120 between Villafranca del Bierzo and Ourense you follow the river Sil as it cuts through gorgeous canyons terraced with vineyards.
D. Ventura is a project by Ramón Losada and his family utilizing old family holdings in this ancient wine-growing region. Ever since the Romans inhabited the area, people have been growing grapes on the steep terraces lining the two rivers that form the denomination. Working these lands is extremely difficult, as the terraces in some areas are so steep that the grapes have to be brought in on a dumb waiter. All farming is done by hand, and Ramón, with the help of Gerardo Méndez of Do Ferreiro, has changed the farming techniques to incorporate a more natural approach.
Winemaking here has also undergone a transition to a more organic form. Only indigenous yeast is used to start fermentation. None of the wines are filtered or cold stabilized. The maturation of the grapes is watched carefully to ensure that they are fully mature when harvested.
Located in the center of the Galician region in northern Spain, the Ribeira Sacra is one of Spain's most beautiful vineyard areas with stunningly breathtaking views. Vines are planted in the steep valleys and precipitous gorges of the Rivers Miño and Sil that wind through Galicia's lush green countryside. The Ribeira Sacra region has similar dramatic landscapes as the Mosel or Douro Valleys, but a more sparse population and a tranquility unmatched. The region gained official DO status in 1996.
Both white wine and red wine production are dominated by blends of local Galician grapes, with varietal wines being the exception. Today, while the region has seen some consolidation and modern stainless-steel equipment is widespread, winemaking remains artisanal. This reflects the tiny landholdings and farmhouse wineries, along with a traditional and predominantly organic approach to viticulture. With such low yields and often minuscule production levels, these wines are highly sought-after and can be difficult to find on the export market.
Ribeira Sacra DO’s principal white grape varieties tend to be highly fragrant and include Albariño, Doña Blanca, Godello, Loureira, Torrontés and Treixadura. Principal red grape varieties here include Mencía, Brancellao, Merenzao, Caiño, Sousón and Tempranillo.
Primarily found in the Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras regions of Spain and in the Dão of Portugal (where it is called Jaen), Mencia is an early ripening, low acid grape that can produce wines of great concentration, complexity and ageability. And yet Mencia once suffered from a poor reputation and deemed capable of producing simple and light red wines. Post-phylloxera growers would grow this variety on low, fertile plains, which produced high yields and uncomplicated finished wines. Somm Secret—The recent rediscovery of the ancient, abandoned vines planted on rugged hillsides of deep schist has unveiled the potential of Mencia and added discredit to its old reputation.