Xose Lois Sebio
Heaven & Hell
91 Points - Parker
Heaven and Hell is a blend of the native Galician white varieties Treixadura, Albariño, and Godello from very old vines (40 -110 years old). The parcels are located all around Gomariz, giving the wine contrasting notes from the various soils and microclimates. It is what is called a “vino de vila” in Galicia, meaning a village wine, traditionally made from a mix of grapes from various vineyards.
The soils of Xabre give the wine its complexity, freshness, and aromatic intensity while the distinct clay soils of Gomariz bring structure and elegance. Equal parts fruitiness and minerality are what make Heaven & Hell so unusual.
Beautiful floral and intense, fruit-filled aromas of melon, ripe stone fruit, with a touch of lychee and tropical notes. Nice texture on the palate, smooth, dry, with a slight tingle on the tip of the tongue, incredibly balanced and with good acidity and body to even out the initial blast of fruit.
The wine is made using biodynamic and sustainable practices with low-intervention and no additives.
Annual Production: 2564 bottles (The club has access to 120 annually)
Type: Blanco (white)
Finish: Fruit-filled, balanced, fresh and mineral
Grape Variety: A mix of very old indigenous varieties - Treixadura, Albariño, Godello
Viticulture / Farming: Sustainable & Biodynamic - Terroir Driven
Ageing: 10 months in used 500L oak barrels
Winemakers: Xose Lois Sebio
Bodega: Viños de Encostas - Xose Lois Sebio
Region: Gomariz, Province of Ourense, Galicia
Designation of Origin: No D.O. - Various parcels around Gomariz
Micro-Climate: Mediterranean/Atlantic – cool & humid winters (2ºC) and short dry summers (29ºC)
Elevation: 150-250 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: between 40 - 110 years old
Soil: Granitic sand, clay and rocks (schists)
- Drink now or keep for up to 4 years
- No need to decant, simply open 5 minutes before consuming
- Pairs well with any fish and seafood dishes, Italian pasta dishes, sushi and sashimi and other Japanese dishes, Manchego cheese (any goat and sheep milk cheeses), white and poultry meat, Jamón Ibérico, paella and other rice dishes
- Ideally served chilled
Xose Lois Sebio makes wine from vineyards in several regions within Galicia and Castilla & León including: Gomariz, O Bolo, Sanxenxo, Valtuille, and Santiuste. Most of the particular Galician vineyards are located around the village of Gomariz, in the province of Ourense, Galicia. The village of Gomariz is in the Northernmost part of Ribeiro wine region, an area that is influenced by the Avia river, a tributary to the Miño, and benefits 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.
Gomariz is often referred to as the Golden Mile of Ribeiro, and is one of the oldest wine producing regions in Spain, dating back to the 10th century. 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 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 with stone walls. This type of layout makes cultivation very laborious and manual.
Manually harvested and sorted. The different musts are mixed and undergo natural fermentation in used French oak barrels of varying sizes. The wine is aged for 10 months in used 500L and 600L oak barrels. Very low sulphur and no additives.
When it comes to winemaking, Xose-Lois Sebio is both an innovator and a traditionalist. Quite possibly one of the most knowledgeable winemakers in Ribeiro, Galicia, Xose-Lois draws from his extensive experience in both the theory and practice of winemaking. He was born and grew up in Vigo, Galicia, a coastal city in northwest Spain not far from where he now makes some of his Viños de Encostas. At the University of Ourense in Galicia, Xose-Lois completed a degree in Agricultural Engineering and a Masters in Oenology. He studied alongside some of Galicia’s greats and formed a strong bond with the entire winemaking community of the region, which he further solidified by working at various wineries in Rias Baixas, Ribeiro, and several other regions.
It was during his studies that he met Ricardo Carreira, the owner of Coto de Gomariz, one of Ribeiro’s top-rated wineries. In 2002, Xose-Lois began working with Ricardo and together they pushed the envelope; planting vineyards, bringing new wines to market, and completely revitalizing Coto de Gomariz. Together they modernized the winery and showed the world the true potential of Ribeiro wines.
In 2010 Xose-Lois began work on his personal project, Viños de Encostas. He became obsessed with the idea of creating honest wines with no makeup and a distinct personality. With Viños de Encostas (wines of the slopes), Xose-Lois focuses on forgotten locations, off the beaten path, areas that are difficult to cultivate, all the while practicing unusual winemaking techniques.
Of the 10 wines that comprise Viños de Encostas, some are traditional and others radically innovative, but they all display the finest aspects of the native grapes and their terroirs. The vines are low-yielding and costly to cultivate, which means they are anything but conventional. They are all small-batch wines, some of them cultivated organically, others biodynamically, and some more conventionally, depending on the location and the topography of each vineyard. Xose-Lois’ objective is to create wines that express the unique identities of Galicia’s native grape varieties and their terroirs. All of Xose-Lois’ wines are low-intervention, low-sulphur, and made without any unnatural additives.
91 Parker Points (2017 vintage) - Luis Gutiérrez Santo Domingo (Wine Advocate, Robert Parker)
There is a new white produced with Albariño, Treixadura and Godello grapes from different parts of Galicia, Salnés, Gomariz and Bibei, sold without appellation of origin. The 2017 Heaven & Hell is a sapid and round, powerful white fermented and matured in used barrels but without malolactic. The grapes are picked ripe when they have full flavour, so the wine is tasty and ripe, round and lush, which seems to be the house style here. 2,564 bottles and 50 magnums were filled in August 2018.