Fedellos do Couto
Visiting this leading producer from Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Spain
One of the Ribeira Sacra vineyards of
Fedellos do Couto
Fedellos do Couto is an interesting wine project. It's based in a
large, rambling old house in Ribera Sacra that's owned by Luis
Taboada, one of the partners in the project. His family have lived
here for several generations, and parts of the house date back to
the 12th Century.
'Fedellos' translates roughly as 'brats', and the brats of Couto
are, in addition to Luis, an agronomist and two winemakers. Pablo
Soldavini is the agronomist, with expertise in organics, and the
winemakers are Curro Barreño and Jesús Olivares. They
began working together back in 2011.
Luis and Jesus
They have just under 6 hectares of vines in the spectacular Ribeira
Sacra, in the Sil and Bibei subregions. Winemaking is pretty
natural, and allows the complex terroir here to show through. These
are really lovely, expressive wines.
We began with some barrel sampling of the latest vintage.
Conas Brancas 2017 (a blend, but not complete,
because there's a separate Godello fermentation that will join this)
60% has 40 days maceration on skins, whole bunch, while the
remainder is direct pressed and fermented in barriques. Complex and
bright with apples and pears, as well as good acidity. Juicy and
intense with nice texture. 91-93/100
Fermented separately because this
was second bud after a frost event, skin fermented. This is complex
and spicy with some grip. Lovely density: very fine and linear. Will
be blended into Conas Brancas. 92-94/100
Cortezada 2017 (sample from concrete tank)
and focused with a slightly reductive nose. Structured and dense
with nice grip and some finesse. Pure and linear, showing good
Cortezada 2017 (500 litre barrel)
vivid with nice cherry and raspberry fruit with a bit of crunch.
This is quite open with some flesh, and a hint of reduction.
Then some wines that will go into Lombo des Ares, which comes from
different plots in Bibei
Mencia and Muraton. Vivid, fresh
and intense with nice grip and lots of volume. Fresh and pure.
Gran Nero and Garnacha
Tintorea. Vivid and fresh with sour cherry, spice and some grip.
High acidity with firm tannins.
Granitic soils. Fresh and focused,
bright and linear, quite pure. Has a directness to the fruit.
San Vicenzo and Raigada
These are two very good
plots at the end of the valley, at 800 m: this will be a
single-vineyard wine in the future. Powerful, vivid and structured
with raspberry and cherry fruit. Structured and fresh with lots of
intensity and concentration.
Then it was time for bottled wines.
Fedellos do Couto Conas Brancas 2016 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
Fresh and concentrated with slight tart grapefruit and
lemon fruit, as well as subtle hints of nuts and pear. Quite pithy
and taut with a nice fennel edge. 92/100
Fedellos do Couto Cortezada 2016 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
This is really supple and expressive with nice bright
cherry and raspberry fruit. So juicy and supple and linear with
lovely red fruits. Pure, linear and elegant. 94/100
Fedellos do Couto Lamba dos Ares 2016 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
This is a blend of plots along the Bibei River, and
it's just one third Mencia together with other varieties.
Concentrated and fresh with crunchiness and subtle reduction. Nice
grippy structure here with good acidity. Linear and complex with
some depth but also lovely richness. 94/100
Fedellos do Couto Bastarda 2016 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
90% younger vines (20 years old), the rest from other
plots. 100% Bastardo, which is the same as Trousseau. Expressive
sappy red fruits nose is floral and leafy with red cherries. Lively,
supple palate is light, detailed and expressive. Juicy and a bit
spicy with some tannin and good acidity. A distinctive wine. 94/100
Fedellos do Couto Caino Tinto 2013 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
Just 300 bottles of this were made. Fresh, linear and juicy
with bright red cherry fruit, showing delicacy and purity. This
shows real beauty, with keen acidity. 94/100
Peixe Lacazan 2016
These Peixes wines are made
higher up in the Bibei where the soils are made of a metamorphic
type of granite called mica. This is 70% Sousón. Complex and intense
with some spice and structure. Powerful and tannic this combines
richness and freshness and has a real wildness to it. Lots of
substance here. 93/100
Piexe da Estrela 2016
Perfumed and expressive
with a floral black cherry nose and some blackcurrant. Great
concentration and freshness on the palate with good structure and
focus. This has incredible focus and acidity. Very fine and
expressive. Linear. 94/100
Peixe da Rocha 2016
Floral with lovely red
cherry and plum notes. Supple and silky with a fine, expressive
palate that shows elegance. Lovely purity with some flesh:
expressive and delicious, with a lovely personality. 94/100
Ribeira Sacra with Envinate
wines of Marques de Murrieta
a dynamic Spanish producer
tasted as indicated
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