Cume do Avia No. 8 | 2020
Ribeiro is the wild card of Galicia. Mostly known for its mineral laden whites, it’s typically overshadowed by Galicia’s more famous regions: Valdeorras, Ribeira Sacra, and Rías Baixas. A fan of light reds, beyond Burgundy, I was giddy and eager to try this new red, hand-selected by our head sommelier, Carolina. Upon first sip, I was hooked.
Run by a family of close cousins (Diego, Álvaro, Fito, and Anxo), Cume do Avia is small garagiste-style winery located on a hill (cume) above the Avia River. Their first vintage was 2012, but a series of winemaking follies and bad vintages left them broke and worse, heartbroken. It wasn’t until 2018, that the cousins found their groove and critics started paying attention.
Tinto No. 8. is a blend of the Galician native grapes, Caiño Longo, Sousón, Brancellao, grown in an intriguing mix of ancient soils: weathered granites, sands, and clays over a bedrock of shale, slate, and quartzite. Co-fermented with about 40% use of whole clusters, the wine is aged five months in old chestnut barrels (5,000L). The nose is buoyant with the brightest of red berries, and the palate is lithe with an undercurrent of minerals and wet stone. Sweet and almost salty, then chillingly bone dry, this is the antithesis of big and bold Spain. It’s hard not to fall in love with No. 8, my perfect kind of Valentine.
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