Break Out Vintage - Côte-Rôtie Sud:
2014 Envínate Lousas Vinas de Aldea

Posted by Joe Salamone

"They have achieved an elegance and balance never seen before" -Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate

Envínate is producing some of the most exciting and honest wines coming out of Spain today. As Luis Gutiérrez makes clear above, their 2014s from Ribera Sacra represent a breakthrough vintage. In 2014, it's obvious that everything clicked.

We love traditional Rioja, Vega Sicilia and sherry, but beyond these we tend not to focus on Spain all that much. The wines of Envínate have really excited us about what's possible in Spain, and the value it can offer. It's crazy how much this bottle delivers for the cost.

Envínate is composed of Roberto Santana, Alfonso Torrente, Laura Ramos, and José Martínez. They met in enology school and the Envínate project grew out of a consulting business. They produce wines from the Canary Islands, Galicia and Extremadura. The wines have garnered wildly positive reviews from people like Jancis Robinson and The Wine Advocate's Luis Gutierrez.

The Lousas Vinas de Aldea is from Ribiera Sacra in Galicia. The texture, freshness and finesse in the Lousas Vinas de Aldea really jumped out at us. It has an amazingly harmonious complexity - there's herbs, bright red fruits, floral notes and a deep streak of minerality. It's hard not to return to the textural component. The best comparison that I can come up with is that it reminded me of the suave purity that Foillard achieves with his Côte du Py. The precision in the Lousas Vinas de Aldea is breathtaking.

When you see pictures of Ribeira Sacra, which is located in Northwestern Spain, its potential is obvious. It resembles Côte-Rôtie with its ridiculously steep, terraced schist vineyards. Lousas Vinas de Aldea is a blend of different sites, but the majority of them are in Ribeiras do Sil, a subsection where the vineyards face north. You sense this in the wine's energy and cool profile.

Everything at Envínate follows old fashioned (and often costly) methods. The grapes are hand harvested and foot trodden. Whole clusters, native yeasts and open-top fermenters are used. Later the wines age in neutral barrels.

It seems that word is getting out about Envínate. Our offer in June for one of their wines from the Canary Islands sold out quickly. We expect something similar with this offer. This is not to be missed and not to be slept on.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2014 Envínate Lousas Vinas de Aldea

Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate: "Their regional wine, the 2014 Lousas Viñas de Aldea is from their third vintage in Ribeira Sacra, and the third cool vintage in a row, with some rain but with healthy grapes. These are wines of freshness and elegance, their best to date. This is mostly Mencía with some 10% other reds (Merenzao, Brancellao, Caíño, Sousón, Mouratón, Alicante Bouschet/Garnacha Tintorera...) from a diversity of vineyards ranging from 15 to 60 years of age, at 400 to 600 meters altitude in different subzones of Ribeira Sacra. The different vineyards had different ways of fermenting, sometimes with full clusters, some not, but always in small open top containers. The wine matured in a collection of well-seasoned 225- , 228-, 350-, 400- and 500-liter oak barrels with the lees for some 11 months without racking. The nose is really open and floral, with notes of acid berries denoting great freshness. The nose unfurls and shows more complexity, dry rose petals, wet stones, and spices. They have also added some new plots that have contributed to the freshness of the wine. They have achieved their aim at producing fresh and light wines, easy to drink, especially in this 'volume' cuvée. There is a big jump in quality in this vintage, and they have achieved an elegance and balance never seen before; they have polished the rusticity of previous vintages. This is a superb example of approachable, drinkable Ribeira Sacra. None of these wines have any oak or edges, but with the acidity and balance they show, they should age nicely in bottle; however, there's no need to wait, and the profile is so attractive that it's difficult to keep your hands off it. A bargain. In 2015 they have added some new vineyards from the Quiroga zone and they have bought new concrete vats. This is a wine to follow in coming years"