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Manuel Moldes Bierzo Lentura Vino Tinto 2019

$24.99

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Lentura is the outlier in the bunch. Coming from Bierzo which is well known for rustic and rich wines. Manuel’s is anything but. A little more than three hours toward the east from Rías Baixas, the climate in Bierzo is extreme with a diurnal shift that's amongst the most extreme of any winegrowing region in the world. Finding elegance is difficult but Manuel has done so with aplomb. He does this by working with vineyards that are as diverse as the climate with vine age averaging around 70 years. In the cellar it is fermented with 20% whole bunches for five to seven days, followed by aging in an equal balance of stainless steel and old, 300-liter barrels. The 2019 is a real stunner and amongst the best wines of the region. Medium bodied with wet stone minerality and red fruit flavors akin to pomegranates. Meant to be consumed while in its youth, this elegant bottle still retains a touch of earthy rusticity that marks its place of origin.

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At only 40 years old Manuel (his friends and family call him Chicho) is quickly approaching Yoda status but if you ask his peers above, he already has. He is part of a collective of inspired minds: a group of winegrowers, restaurant owners and sommeliers who converge on different meeting places throughout the Rías Baixas numerous times each month to drink, eat and share their ideas and experiences. This shared knowledge is a large reason why Rias Basixes and Galicia have in a relatively short span of time turned from what was considered a Spanish backwater into arguably the most buzzed about region in the world.

Albarino is king of Rias Baixas and Manuel is producing amongst the best out there. In the right hands, Albariño can render forcefully elegant white wines of tension, laced with mineral nuances and complexity while maintaining reliable quaffability. But the traditional reds that used to dominate these parts are on the rise and not to be missed. Many come from grapes few have heard which is very perplexing considering the quality of wine they produce.

Like most of Spain, Rias Baixas and Galicia were affected by the rise of bulk wine production and there are indeed some large plots that with the help of modern additives produce high yield destined for the cooperative and the bulk wine market. But that's not where they greats source their grapes from. They seek out lost treasure amongst the hill and canyon of this rugged land. That’s where old vines, tended to by generations of families, are still thriving. These are more often than not small family vineyards that until Manuel and his fellow galegos (Spanish for winemaker) came along were usually sold off to the cooperatives. Most have never seen synthetic chemicals and the ones that have, Manuel has helped the grower move towards organic and biodynamic practices.

In the cellar Manual works diligently to express the unique identities of this incredible raw material. Whether grown on pure schist or granite his goal is to produce Albarino highlighting the difference in his varied terroir Fermentation and aging takes place in a mixture of mostly old 500-to-700-liter French oak barrels. After nine to eleven months, they are bottled. The lengthy time in barrel, as opposed to the more regional norm of five to six months, allows some of the primary fruit qualities of the grape to peel away, making room for more of the unique individual nuances to more firmly declare themselves. The reds are made in a similar fashion, fermented separately and then blended before aging.

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Red Blend

  • Vintage

    2019

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Sustainable

  • Style

    Aromatic , Earthy , Fruity

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Light Bodied

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