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Mapping Rias Baixas

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Rias Baixas 2011, O Rosal, Santiago Ruiz ($23.40, 11899605)
Though run by the Ruiz family, the estate is owned by Bodegas LAN, itself now owned by Portuguese giant Sogrape. The whimsical label is a reproduction of a hand-drawn map that Ruiz’s daughter sent to guests to show them the way to the winery for her wedding. This is a blend of Albariño (70%), Louriero (15%), Caiño Blanco (10%) and Treixadura and Godello (5%) from the 38 ha O Rosal vineyard. The grapes are macerated on their skins during a slow, soft pressing. The juice is allowed to settle and clarify for 15 to 20 hours and then is fermented at 16 to 17ºC in stainless steel tanks for around two weeks. 13% ABV.
Fresh nose: lime and grapefruit zest, East Asian fruit (lychee? loquat?), faint spice and chalk dust. There are two layers to this wine. The upper layer is soft and silky, with pale sweet fruit (Asian pear) and a rainwater minerality. The lower layer is denser and drier, the fruit more citrusy, the acidity providing some bite and the stoney minerals showing a bitter edge. The upper layer makes a beguiling first impression but fades by the finish, leaving only the sterner lower layer and prompting another sip to sweeten the palate. Obviously, a fine aperitif wine but with enough savour and stuffing to accompany simply prepared seafood (like my grilled spot prawns). (Buy again? Yes, though maybe not in preference to Gomariz’s benchmark – if less winey – Alvarinho.)

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Written by carswell

June 2, 2013 at 13:09

Posted in Tasting notes

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