Ailalá Sousón - 2018
90 points - Parker
¡Ailalá! ¡Ailalelo! is what you would shout/sing over the mountain tops in Galicia when sharing good times with your best pals. 'Ailalá' is the Galician equivalent to 'Olé' the well-known Spanish term of exclamation used by people across the globe. For all you history buffs, interestingly, the word Ailalá is heard in many traditional Galician folk tales and is known to have Celtic origins.
Ailalá Sousón (the tinto version of the sister wine, Ailalá Treixadura) is a natural red wine made with 85% Sousón, and the remaining 15% is a blend of Caiño, Ferrol, and Brancellao, all native grape varieties of Galicia. Much like its name implies, this wine is a seriously good time, fun, light-hearted, easy-drinking, but with the immense character and complexity that is representative of the Sousón variety.
Made following the natural farming theories of M. Fukuoka and R. Steinner. This wine is free of any additives and is completely pure.
Aromas of cinnamon, blackberry yogurt, cherry, lilies, slate, graphite, with hints of golden tobacco, and violets. On the palate, it's dry, smooth, balanced, slightly tart, with pleasantly soft tannins. The finish is long with lasting fresh fruit notes of strawberry, cherry, and raspberry.
The Ailalá-Ailalelo project is a powerhouse collaboration between the oenologist Inma Pazos, her husband Miguel Montoto, and Xosé Lois Sebio, the oenologist of the esteemed Coto de Gomariz winery (Ricardo Carreiro). With the two Ailala wines (red and white) they express the magnificent terroir of the highly regarded Avia Valley in Galicia's Ribeiro DO; the soils are composed of granitic sand and clay called Sábrego. The all-star team along with the biodynamic farming methods and minimal intervention make for nearly unrivaled quality and value in this wine.
Annual Production: 10,000 bottles (The club has access to 1000 annually)
Type: Tinto (red)
Finish: Fruit-filled, balanced, long, and pleasant
Grape Variety: 85% Sousón, remaining 15% is Caiño, Ferrol, and Brancellao
Viticulture / Farming: Sustainable & Biodynamic - Terroir Driven - following the theories of M. Fukuoka and R. Steinner
Ageing: 4 months in barrel, and at least one month in bottle (this wine was bottled
Winemakers: Inma Pazos, XL Sebio
Region: Valle de Avia, Province of Ourense, Galicia
Designation of Origin: D.O. Ribeiro
Micro-Climate: Mediterranean/Atlantic – cool & humid winters (2ºC) and short dry summers (29ºC)
Elevation: 150-350 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: 50 - 100 years
Soil: Sábrego (granitic sand with some clay)
- Drink now or keep for up to 4 years
- No need to decant, simply open 10 minutes before consuming
- Pairs well with red meats, Manchego cheese, Pulpo a la Gallega, Galician stew, Jamon Iberico, BBQ, paella and other rice dishes, as well as chocolate desserts
- Ideally served just below room temperature
These particular vineyards are located along the Avia Valley; near the villages of A Xarmenta in San Cristobal, Esposende, Beaude, Viete, and a few others. These vineyards are in the Northernmost part of Ribeiro, an area that is influenced by the Avia river, a tributary to the Miño, and benefit from a blend of Atlantic and Mediterranean climates. Though the region is not far from the Atlantic, it is protected from its harsh winds and storms by mountain ranges to the West which form a natural barrier.
In medieval times, Ribeiro was without a doubt the most important wine region in Galicia, ancient documents show that both religious estates and royalty were heavily involved in the region. The Sistine and Benedictine orders settled in Ribeiro, the monks made the most of the land by renting the vineyards to local farmers, and this served as the main source of income for the monasteries. This is why so many ancient architectural examples of cathedrals and monasteries are peppered throughout the landscape, on the footsteps of the vineyards. In fact, Ribeiro wine was aboard the Nao Santa Maria, the ship that took Christopher Columbus to America.
The microclimate of Gomariz and the Valle de Avia is relatively mild with cool and humid winters rarely going below 2ºC and warm dry summers reaching 30ºC.
These vineyards are found in a lush green landscape of rolling hills, the vines sit on steep slopes and terraced plots.
Manually harvested in 18 kg crates. Initial grape selection in the vineyards followed by a second meticulous selection on the sorting table at the winery. Low-temperature maceration and fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Aged for a brief 4 months in barrel in order to balance the body of the wine. Aged in the bottle until today. According to biodynamic practices, this wine is bottled on a Fruit Day in May.
Detailed info about Inma Pazos coming soon.
90 points - Luis Gutiérrez Santo Domingo (Wine Advocate, Robert Parker)