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Dominio do Bibei, Lapola Blanco 2017
Godello, Albarino, Dona Blanca
Godello 80%, Albarino 15%, Dona Blanca 5%
From the vertiginous vineyards of Ribeira Sacra in Galicia, this white is made from 80% Godello, 15% Albarino, and 5% Dona Blanca. There is a wonderful and surprising tension and minerality to this wine, with stony and smoky notes sitting alongside extremely pretty white peach and citrus fruit.
Each grape in this godello-focused blend was vinified separately in 600L oak barrels, 1,200L & 2,400L foudres, and concrete tanks. The wine was aged for 11 months on the lees in the same vessels and then naturally cold-stabilized in concrete tanks.
Dominio do Bibei is located in the Quiroga-Bibei sub-zone of the Ribeira Sacra D.O. Like all Ribeira Sacra sub-zones, this area is one of spectacular mountain ranges and flowing rivers, but it is drier and harsher than the other sub-zones. Javier Dominguez is the author of this crazy adventure to recapture a once grand vineyard. Old terraces are being restructured and new plantings are afoot. Dominio do Bibei is a 125-hectare estate with approximately 45 hectares planted today. Javier's vision of austerity and respect for the history is reflected in the winery and its simple design. Gravity rules. There are no stainless steel tanks; wood or cement are the vehicles of choice and they come in all different sizes. The idea is to return to the past to rediscover what was once here, so the estate follows many of the ideas of biodynamic viticulture to obtain the purest expression of this terroir. Planted on these terraces are old vines of Mencia, Garnacha, Brancellao and Mouraton. New plots are being planted using cuttings from these old vines so as to maintain clonal diversity in the vineyard. In addition to the red varietals, there are plantings of white grape varietals such as Doia Blanca, Godello and Albarino (the cuttings of this last grape being from Do Ferreiro). The sites vary greatly based on the orientation of the plots and the soil types. Because this is a transition zone which touches Valdeorras, soils of slate, granite and clay are interspersed among the hillsides.