2016 Luis Anxo Rodriguez Vazquez, A Teixa, Ribeiro D.O. Galicia, Spain.
I fell in love with Luis Rodriguez’s wines the first time I tried them, these are some of the most beautiful and compelling white wines in the world, rivaling some prestigous white Burgundies, they are gorgeously textural and aromatic with stylish mineral tones that thrill the senses. This 2016 A Teixa, made from natives varietals, mostly Treixadura along with tiny amounts of Godello and Albariño, flows gracefully across the medium/full palate with layers of white peach, apple, lemon curd and melon fruits along with a lush fleshy feel, accented by clove, clarified cream, a touch of nuttiness and wet stone. The A Teixa is sourced from a single vineyard, not far the cellar Luis uses, is in this vintage about 95% Treixadura, 3% Godello and 2% Albariño from vines that are about 20 years and set on granitic sand in Ribadavia zone of Ribeiro D.O. which is heavily influenced by its Atlantic Ocean proximity and cool climate. The Ribeiro region, an ancient Galician wine region located 45 miles inland from the coast, close to Portugal, was much prized in the past, but had fallen from favor until recent years when small estates started to reappear in the appellation, and especially Luis Rodriguez, who has created a brilliant collection of wines, with both reds and whites. This 2016 really turns on the charm in the glass and is hitting on all cylinders with a white/citrus blossom bouquet and incredible detailing, this is vintage is in a great place right now, highlighting why this is one of my favorite white wines.

The sublimely talented Luis Anxo Rodriguez Vazquez has been hand-crafting world class Ribeiro wines, from the granite based hillsides of his hometown of Arnoia, since 1988 and his mission has been to make distinctive wines from nearly extinct native grapes. The tiny adega, or cellar, that Luis works in was built by his grandfather and is called Viña de Martín, which is named after the first vineyard that he took over from his uncle Martín. According to his US importer Jose Pastor, Luís works with a mixture old and new techniques including temperature-controlled tanks and a mix of French oak barrels, mostly larger format casks. Luis A Rodriguez Vazquez’s fermentations are all done with native yeasts, and with very low sulfur in the winemaking process to avoid oxidation. The white wines are aged extensively on the lees to promote complex depth and richness. The grapes for this A Teixa were all hand-harvested, de-stemmed and pressed into his big foudres for fermentation, seeing one year aging on fine lees, then lightly fined and filtered, then rested in bottle an additional year before release, so when you open a Luis Rodriguez white you get a fully developed wine of regal elegance. I have had the pleasure of meeting Luis and tasting his wines, all of which, impressed me to the core, and I highly recommend you discover these top notch efforts, especially the series of whites, which remind me of Premier and Grand Chablis in style and substance. This golden hued A Teixa is fabulous with sea foods, including lobster, cracked crab, swordfish and salmon dishes as well as poultry and or soft cheeses.
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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