2011luisescolma2011 Luis A. Rodriguez Vazquez, Ribeiro Tinto A Torna Dos Pasas “Escolma” Galicia Spain.
Hand-crafted from a field blend of Brancellao, Caino, and Ferrol, all old native grapes, the fantastic 2011 Luis Rodriguez Escola Ribeiro red, a special selection of lots, is the top wine of this small estate that has become the pride of the region, these are wine that people in know are coveting and speaking about in the same league as the some of the best Burgundy wines. The whites without question from Luis A. Rodriguez Vazquez have the drive and texture of Meursault, but with the flinty mineral zing of Premier Cru, if not Grand Cru Chablis, and the reds to have similar qualities to Cote de Nuits, though are even more unique as they feature details that also remind you of Barbaresco and Cote-Rotie, especially this A Torna Dos Pasas Escoma Tinto which sees time in French oak and is held longer before release, it’s deep in color, spicy and wonderfully layered with gorgeous mouth feel. The Atlantic climate, cool and wet, adds brisk acidity, saline and this wines almost never get to 13% alcohol, making for elegant, though richly detailed and densely flavored, grown on granite with areas of sand, schist, slate and clay these wines highlight this special terroir through their soil and micro climate. Luis Rodriguez’s wines are made using natural yeasts and see stainless and neutral wood during fermentations and then raised in French cask, some new depending on vintage, he is not stuck on a formula or dogma, mostly he makes each wine from feel, or an intuitive sense, and the results are simply heavenly. The 2011 Escolma Tinto really seduces the senses with rose oil, crushed violets, tar, black licorice, earth and white pepper unfolding along with black cherry, plum, blueberry and mulberry fruits, at first you think things are Pinotesque with bright focus, but things take on a deeper note as the wine opens and the cascade of flinty spice/mineral, fig paste, lavender, huckleberry and savory elements gather on the medium weight palate that certainly take on that Nebbiolo meets Syrah sensation. With sweet opulent blue and black fruits coming to the front and center this wine is ever changing in the glass, fascinating and undeniably sexy this Ribeiro is lengthy and unnervingly alluring, additive and thrilling, and while the 2010 was a bit more structured and age worthy, this is not far behind and is more open knit at this stage. One of my most pleasurable experiences in Spanish wine was meeting Luis and tasting his wines, in fact I got a preview of some of his awesome wine last year along with Pedro Rodriguez (no relation) the winemaker of Guimaro, another of my favorites, and even got to enjoy some from magnums with tapas, an evening I won’t forget anytime soon! All of the latest wines from Luis A. Rodriguez, imported by Jose Pastor Selections, are lovely wines, some of Spain’s best, this is a winery to check out, and the region of northwest Spain, including this area Ribeiro, but also the Ribeira Sacra and Rias Baixas with wines of producers like Nanclares, Guimaro and Vina Mein really standing out, just to name a few! Galicia is one of the most exciting wine regions in Europe right now, and right near the top is Luis Rodriguez, I’m completely in love with these wines and the people behind them, they are passionate and humble to a fault with great soul and a rustic elegance, full of charm and life, don’t miss them!
($60 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

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