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Producer: Ronsel do SilGrape Varieties: Mencia 85%, Garnacha 10%, Mouratón 5%Optimum Drinking: Within 5 yearsWine Style: An expressive red with berry fruitAlcohol by Volume: 12%Closure: Natural CorkCountry: Spain
An expressive wine with lively notes of wild berried fruit, pink peppercorn complemented by shades of balsamic and graphite minerality.
Ronsel do Sil is a family-run winery located in DO Ribeiro Sacra, near Parada de Sil, in the North West of Spain. The vineyard is manually cultivated on the steep slopes of the Sil River Canyons, on granitic terraces originally built by the Romans, which are known locally as ‘bancales'. Only 5% of mountain viticulture remains in the world, and in Ribeira Sacra it is known as ‘Heroic Viticulture’ due to the dangerous harvest entailed. Indigenous red varieties such as Mencía and Merenzao are sustainably grown alongside the native white varieties of Godello, Treixadura and Dona Branca. Ronsel do Sil takes its name from the Spanish word ‘ronsel’ which means 'wake': the path a boat leaves when it sails through water. Winemaker Maria Jose Yravedra passionately crafts beautifully refined and mineral-driven wines.
2018 was a climatically balanced year, with abundant rainfall in winter and spring, enabling the vineyards to recover from the 2017 draught. Snowfall in March led to late flowering. Spring was almost non-existent, with a sudden change from cold to hot temperatures almost without transition. Summer allowed for a slow, but complete ripening of the fruit, resulting in fresh wines with a lower ABV than previous years.
The vineyard covers 10 hectares, including espalier trained vines of 10 to 30 years and older vines of 35 to 100 years old, some of which are pre-phylloxera. The vineyard is cultivated sustainably following organic and biodynamic principles: manual weeding, using dried gorse as a cover-crop and mulching take place to preserve the soil’s natural humidity and nutrients. Pesticides and herbicides are not used. Irrigation is prohibited, so the vines are nourished by rainwater, underground sources and soil minerals, which lead to exceptionally long roots, up to 10 metres in length, producing concentrated and complex wines. 19 indigenous varietals are approved in the D.O. Ribera Sacra which grow side by side in the vineyard, thus the harvesting team needs to have great knowledge and experience to recognise each one, as they are harvested separately according to the D.O. regulations.
Vinified in a gravity-fed winery, which reduced the use of pumps, resulting in the gentle movement of the wine and also reduced energy consumption. The hand-harvested grapes were carefully selected and underwent a pre-fermentation maceration at 10°C. ‘Délestage’ or rack and return was employed to oxygenate the must, while simultaneously softening the tannins. Fermentation took place with wild yeasts in 5,000 litre French oak foudres at controlled temperatures of 20 to 22°C. The wine underwent malolactic conversion and was aged in the French oak foudres for eight months before being gently fined and filtered prior to bottling.
An expressive and complex wine with layers of wild berried fruits, flinty, earthy notes and a subtle hint of violet. Beautifully balanced, with a velvety texture and a touch of balsamic on the finish.
Mencia 85%, Garnacha 10%, Mouratón 5%
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