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“The wine from the D.O. Ribeira Sacra you have to come here, you have to taste it, understand it and interpret it”, Javier Facal, Secretary Gallaecia


The headquarters of the Regulatory Council of the D.O. Ribeira Sacra hosted this Monday the tasting for the Gallaecia Distinctions, organized by the Association of Sommeliers of Galicia, Gallaecia. After the tastings in the D.O. Valdeorras and Monterrei, it was the turn of the D.O. Ribeira Sacra and will be followed by tastings in the D.O. Rías Baixas, Ribeiro and spirits and liqueurs. In D.O. Ribeira Sacra 111 samples from 28 wineries have been presented. Most of the wines were red wines, 81, 26 white wines and 4 rosé.

14 tasters distributed in two tasting panels, tasted "market wines", purchased directly from stores. The secretary of the Gallaecia Sommeliers Association, Javier Facal, highlighted the positive evolution of the D.O. Ribeira Sacra, even considering that the year 2021 was a difficult year for all denominations. “It has a very positive evolution in the white wines where I have seen how to produce. In the red wines we have seen that 2021 needs a little patience, we have the Atlantic concept that is grateful at a table when the world is invaded by continental wines, overripe wines. I think her are on the right track. I work in restaurants, serving wines, making harmonies and fresh reds are always nice… There is a global trend towards change and in wine, in front of white wines these fresh reds appear that allow you to continue drinking red wines without being heavy”.

Almost a third of the wines presented belonged to other vintages, of these wines he highlighted the complexity, “It is incredible the complexity that wines gain with a little work. Mencía is a fresh grape, tending to large deposits to try to make this oxidoreductive aging we have these evolutions of incredible complexity. When Mencía reaches those moments, it reminds me a bit of autumn, that low mountain, that fallen leaves, that oregano. If now we're going to take walks through the scrubland of the Ribeira Sacra, it's just that, it's rockrose, chestnut, that little dot of terracotta, of humidity... It's incredible, for me it's a virtue in interpretation. You have to come here, you have to taste it, you have to understand it and interpret it”.

The wines with the best scores will go to the final tasting of the Gallaecia Distinctions. These tastings also serve to prepare the "Guide to Wines, Spirits and Wineries of Galicia 2023" by Luis Paadín. His son and collaborator, Alejandro Paadín, assessed the tasting at the Ribeira Sacra in this way, “The wines are very good. The truth is that coming to the Ribeira Sacra is surprising because of the diversity, before we talked about varieties and now the vintage factor is included. When we began these tastings with Gallaecia twenty years ago, it was a monograph on the wine of the vintage and now it is a pleasure to see that a third of all the wines belong to other vintages, they are wines that are in progress, they have just been released on the market and that potential is already being seen.

Those that are more rounded, that have more play in styles, is when we start to taste vintages of 2020 and 2019. The 2021 vintage is a more floral vintage, not so much fruity, not as mature as other vintages, it is more elegant and fresh, however the other vintages come with that added time in the barrel, work in the cellar,... slightly more leisurely wines where all the splendor and potential that Ribeira Sacra wines have to compete worldwide is shown. With the Ribeira Sacra rosés, it was the bravest DO supporting them, it makes sense because it is the Galician Denomination of Origin that produces proportionally more red wine. There are different styles, but a clear line that goes towards a more traditional line with slightly higher layers and another style towards a lower layer. I believe that the Ribeira Sacra has room for both styles and I would like them to continue to coexist. It takes a short time with these vinifications and although in whites and reds there is a brilliance and an international splendor, in the rosés a very good job is being done and a good path is being followed that I would encourage to continue experimenting”.


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