Casal de Armán is a family owned winery with 20 hectares of its own vineyards in the historic valley of the Avia River in the Ribeiro Denominación de Orígen (DO) in Galicia. The vineyards are terraced with heights ranging from 650-1500 feet above sea level including 100-year-old, abandoned terraced vineyards, which the family is in the process of recovering. With granite-based sábrego and schist soils, the vineyards are dedicated to cultivating indigenous varietals including white varieties, Treixadura principally, Godello, Albariño, Loureiro and also reds, Brancellao, Caiño Longo and Souson. The grapes are handpicked and 100% of their wines are estate fruit. Felicísimo Pereira, the new Ribeiro Appellation’s president and Javier González Vázquez are the winemakers at Casal de Armán. For more on the wines of Galicia, see our recent report on Rias Baixas.
In addition to the estate vineyards, Casal de Armán purchases fruit from local growers. Plots are dotted around the winery and in different historic villages of the valley (San Clodio, Gomariz, Carballeda) on both sides of the Avia River. One of the winery’s most scenic vineyards overlooks the 10th century Monastério de San Clodio where Cistercian monks cultivated and improved the indigenous grape varieties. Their efforts brought fame to the quality of Ribeiro wines in the middle ages. Recently uncovered documents indicate that Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colón) carried Ribeiro wine on his first expedition to America.
The US Importer of Casal de Armán is Think Global of Santa Barbara CA.
Casal de Armán 2019 Eira dos Mouros Treixadura Ribeiro (Avia Valley) ($18) 91 This is an incredible wine for the price. It shows a sense of terroir with distinctive aromas and flavors. The nose is floral and herbal with juicy fruit and hints of white pepper. It’s creamy in the mouth with notes of perfumed fruit and mouthwatering acidity. The finish is long and particularly flavorful at the back of the mouth. 100% Treixadura sorted in the field, cold soaked, then pressed and fermented in stainless steel, 12.5% alc.
Casal de Armán 2017 Finca Misenhora Ribeiro (Avia Valley) ($41) 92 Medium yellow straw. Beginning with a bouquet that evokes pear and hints of tropical fruit along with a twist of lemon, the Finca Misenhora is full in the mouth with good concentration of attractive ripe fruit flavors. A very pretty, easy drinking wine of some delicacy and superb balance. A blend of 90% Treixadura, 5% Godello and 5% Albariño sourced from the estate’s highest vineyards in the Avia Valley; aged on the lees for 6 months. 13.5% alc.
Casal de Armán 2017 Finca Os Loureiros Ribeiro ($41) 92 Medium yellow straw. Showing an effusive nose of ripe pear and clementine joined by a suggestion of honeysuckle, this 100% single vineyard Treixadura offers a multi-dimensional palate of expressive fruit and herbs working in tandem. It offers a fine, straight focus with good precision and perfectly proportioned acidity. Finishes with a persistent minerality. Sourced from a 3 ha vineyard in San Clodio within sight of the Benedictine monastery. Fermented in 500L French oak and aged on the lees with battonage for 6 months. 13.5% alc.
Casal de Armán 2019 Viña Branco Ribeiro 92 This blend of Treixadura, Albariño and Godello is clean and crisp with a nose of orchard fruit, white flowers, and a hint of citrus. It has firm acidity and a mineral-like texture and finishes very clean and fresh. An excellent food wine. A blend of 90% Treixadura, 5% Albariño, and 5% Godello all from estate vineyards, whole berry pressed in a pneumatic press and fermented in stainless steel. 13% alc
Casal de Armán 2018 Viña Tinto Ribeiro ($25) 91 This blend of autochthonous Galician grape varieties is delightfully fresh with loads of berry and cherry fruit complemented by light herbal and mineral notes. It has good balancing acidity and a long, flavorful finish. Made of equal parts Brancellao, Sousón, and Caiño Longo grown in estate vineyards aged 11 months in stainless steel tanks. 13.5% alc.
Casal de Armán 2018 Eira dos Mouros Ribeiro ($16) 90 An original red blend of varieties indigenous to Galicia, this is a delicious everyday drinking wine. There’s good dark red fruit that evokes huckleberry, plum and dark berries with a light earthy note. Fresh tasting with good balance, bright acidity, and lingering flavors on the finish. A blend of 50% Sousón, 40% Caiño Longo, and 10% Brancellao, whole bunch cold soaked and matured in stainless steel for 11 months. 12.5% alc Outstanding value!