Treixadura from Ribeiro in Galicia

Treixadura is a delicate white grape grown mostly in the Ribeiro region of Galicia and in northern Portugal where it’s called Trajadura and is often a component of Vinho Verde.  It’s often used in blends where it contributes fresh aromas and flavors of citrus and orchard fruit as well as body and alcohol.  With 2500 hectares of vines and 115 wineries, Ribeiro is located just east of Rias Baixas [see map of Ribeiro below] in close proximity (just 45 km) to the Atlantic, so as with Rias Baixas, white varietals like Treixadura dominate wine production.  In this article we evaluate some of the Ribeiro wines we’ve tasted made with this variety.  For more on the wines of Northwest Spain, please see our recently published report on The Wines of Rias Baixas and the forthcoming report on The Wines of Bierzo.  Also, see our earlier article on Casal de Armán; the reviews of their Treixadura wines are repeated here.

Ribeiro is an incredibly scenic land traversed by three rivers: the Miño, Avia and Arnoia. Vines grow on hillsides and terraces above these rivers. The soils are primarily a sandy, decomposed granite called sabrego, but there are also soils of schist and sedimentary material.  Grapes and wine in Ribeiro date back to Roman times.  Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries were critical to the development of vineyards in the middle ages, the San Clodio de Leiro monastery (now a tourist hotel) being the most famous.  Records indicate that Christopher Columbus carried Ribeiro wines on his voyage of discovery to the Americas.

 

The Wines

Bodegas O’Ventosela 2019 Gran Leiriña Treixadura Ribeiro 91 Pale yellow straw. A reticent nose reveals notes of apple, melon and flowers. Very clean and crisp on the attack with good fullness in the mouth and late arriving acidity that energizes the finish. A delicious, delicate wine with mineral notes that would pair well with simply prepared fish dishes. 100% Treixadura from the estate vineyard Finca Traveselas, pressed after a brief maceration and fermented in stainless steel. 12.5% alc.  Importer: William Skurnik

Bodegas O’Ventosela 2018 Viña Leiriña Ribeiro 91 This is a steely, firm wine that evokes wet stones and minerals. It offers orchard fruit and citrus flavors with a light herbal nuance. Precise and focused, there’s good flavor concentration, a lanolin like mouth feel, and a lingering finish. A blend of 60% Treixadura, 30% Palomino, and 10% Torrontes from estate vineyards and purchased fruit fermented in stainless steel. Just 11% alc!

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.  Importer: Think Global LLC Santa Barbara, California

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 93 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 pressedusein a pneumatic press and fermented in stainless steel. 13% alc

Fedellos do Couto 2018 Conasbrancas Galicia 94 Incisive, spicy nose with hints of stone fruit and wild herbs. This is a terroir driven wine that’s firm and dry on the palate with bright acids and a sense of stony minerals. Rich and complex with a perfumed character of flowers and herbs and an exceptionally long and rich aftertaste. A blend of 60-80 year old Godello, Dona Blanca, Albariño, Treixadura, Lado, and Torrontes; 30% direct press, 70% whole cluster cofermented in barrel and matured in 500L French oak for 8 months on the lees without stirring. 12.5% alc  Importer: European Cellars Charlotte, North Carolina

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