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D. Ventura Ribeira Sacra "Viñas do Burato" '19
D. Ventura is the soft-spoken Ramón Losada and his family, who farm six hectares of old vines to make small amounts of single-vineyard wine in one of the most remote wine regions in the world, Ribeira Sacra. Ramón is the picture of a humble farmer, with his full-time job as the village veterinarian consuming whatever time is left after tending to his vines. He even finds a little time to raise a rare heritage breed of Galician pig, from which he makes incredible sausages to keep the breed going. In 1999, he and his sister Belen refurbished the cellar in the ancient family farmhouse in Pantón and began bottling and selling their wines, which until then were for self-consumption.
In 2019 Ramon Losada made only one wine: Viñas do Burato. It is a blend of 70% Burato vineyard, on the Miño river, and 30% Caneiro vineyard, on the Sil river. Caneiro is planted to the indigenous red mencía grape, located in the Amandi subzone of Ribeira Sacra, which is revered as one of the best sites in the region. Viña Caneiro is a steep, 90-year-old, one-hectare vineyard planted on schist soils known locally as losa, with stone walls and vines that plunge toward the Sil river in one of the most picturesque and famous spots in Ribeira Sacra. The river adds a sweet freshness to this plot, cooling it during the heat of the day, producing opulent grand cru-level wines reminiscent of Côte-Rôtie in France.
The Burato vineyard is in a totally different area on the Miño river, north of the other two plots. Here the landscape is lush with a significantly cooler climate and higher average rainfall. Streams flow directly through the vineyard on their way to the Miño. The soils are mixed granitic and alluvial. The vineyard is planted to Mencía and Merenzao (Trousseau) which yields crisp, refreshing red wines with mouthwatering acidity. Ramon does not use any chemicals in the vineyard, nor corrections in his winery, and makes the wines simply, without intervention or fancy winemaking.
After a manual harvest in small boxes, the grapes for “D. Ventura,” a red wine made of 90% Mencía and 10% Merenzao, are treated as simply and respectfully as possible. The grapes are completely destemmed and spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is bottled from the tank without fining or filtration, and with a very low addition of sulfur at bottling. The wine is medium bodied, with flavors of red fruits such as pomegranate and raspberry, as well as floral and peppercorn aromas. With a mineral undertone, the wine benefits from decanting and is also lovely with a slight chill. Fans of aromatic wines made from Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Garnacha will also like this one.
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