Ladeiras do Xil Gaba do Xil Mencia 2016  Front Label
Ladeiras do Xil Gaba do Xil Mencia 2016  Front LabelLadeiras do Xil Gaba do Xil Mencia 2016  Front Bottle Shot

Ladeiras do Xil Gaba do Xil Mencia 2016

  • RP91
750ML / 13% ABV
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A wine that is always fresh and expressive, its selected grapes come from estate vineyards in Santa Cruz, Las Ermitas, and Larouco. Vineyards are on soils of red clay and metamorphic slates with larger rocks.

Blend: 70% Mencía, 30% Merenzao

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I was very pleasantly surprised by the expressive nose of the 2016 Gaba do Xil Mencía; it was very open, floral and perfumed, refined and elegant, expressing the freshness of the 2016 vintage. It has that spicy and herbal twist not that far from some Gamays or Cabernet Francs, with the Galician signature of forest floor, bay leaf and nettle, and with very good complexity. This is quite refined, tasty and long. 33,876 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2018 completely unoaked. This might be the finest vintage to date of this bottling.
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Ladeiras do Xil

Ladeiras do Xil

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Ladeiras do Xil, Spain
Ladeiras do Xil Jorge Saa and Pablo Eguzkiza Winery Image

The vineyards of Ladeiras do Xil lie in the eastern part of this region near the village of Santa Cruz and monastery of Las Ermitas. This valley is among the most important and exciting areas for the potential of world-class viticulture in all of Galicia, as it lies in the southern part of Valdeorras, on the border of the Bibei subzone of Ribeira Sacra. This region is exceptionally rural and biologically diverse, where ancient vineyards developed by monasteries exist in harmony with dense forest and animal life. As a rule, Ladeiras do Xil uses only indigenous grape varieties which are bush trained and follow the natural contours of the land, mindful of the history of the vineyards and ecology of the surrounding area. Vineyards have existed in this valley since the Roman era, being further refined and perfected by members of the Cistercian monasteries, for which the area is famous. The soils here are shallow, acidic, and coarse-textured due to varying proportions of decomposed granite with naturally low fertility.

The pioneering duo of Pablo Eguzkiza and Telmo Rodríguez started working here in 2002. Recognizing the potential to make world-class wines in this incredibly important valley, they began a project that would take more than a decade to come to fruition. The philosophy of their company has always been vineyard first, winery second. The most important piece of the puzzle is the vineyard, and we are now just beginning to see the unfolding of the grandeur of their vision. They have been quietly conducting heroic work in the face of incredible obstacles, as the climate in Galicia is unforgiving.

Since 2014, the project has been led by the young vigneron Jorge Saa. He and his team have been quietly working, restoring the centuries-old terraces and replanting indigenous varieties as they were in the past: a diverse field blend, near the ancient village of Santa Cruz. Co-planting is essential in this region, and they are cultivating a number of varieties including Merenzao, Sousón, Mencía, Godello, Treixadura, Godello Tinto, Brancellao, Doña Blanca, Garnacha, and Palomino.

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Just to the south of Bierzo, the steeply terraced Valdeorras Spanish wine region is a respected source of both red and white wines. Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) and Mencía are the principal red varieties while Godello and Palomino compose the majority of this region's whites.

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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.

SOU939190_2016 Item# 545246

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