Product information

Guímaro Ribeira Sacra ‘Finca Capeliños’ Mencia 2020

Red Blend from Spain, Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Amandi

$211

$201ea in any 3+
$191ea in any 6+
Alc: 14%
Closure: Cork

Description

Guímaro’s wines draw you in. At this level, they move well beyond and above the playful, juby, joven styles. Complex, savoury, layered with sophisticated tannins all of Guímaro’s top wines show a deft hand in élévage to elicit the personality of the fruit from which they are made.


The 2020 Finca Capeliños comes from a warm year, but the grapes have been harvested earlier in recent years to achieve moderate alcohol and macerations have been shortened to get wines that are more elegant and harmonious. The 2020s are quite open and expressive, and the Capeliños displays impressive notes of violet pastille and a faintly Mediterranean note of aromatic herbs. This is 14% alcohol (only 0.5% more than the 2019). The tannins are very fine but quite abundant. 1,000 bottles were filled in February 2022.

Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate 96 Points

In stock (can be backordered)

Check out all of the wines by Guímaro

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

Blend: Almost entirely Mencía, with a few vines of local varieties intermixed.

Vineyard: From single 0.6 Ha parcel (Capeliños) of centenarian vines at the foot of the slope in Amandi. The vineyard is planted on a mix of granite and slate.

Vinification Method:The grapes were harvested by hand and fermented with native yeasts on the skins in used French oak vats with 50% whole clusters. After fermentation, the wine was racked to 225 L and 500L used French oak barrels, where it rested for more than a year. No fining, no filtering, and only a small sulfur addition at bottling.
Alcohol: 14%

About Adegas Guímaro

Pedro Pérez

His name is Pedro Pérez, and he’s the best producer in Ribeira Sacra, a radically steep river valley appellation in central Galicia, where rivers Sil and Miño intersect (they flow west to the Atlantic from here as a conjoined river Miño. Steep?

As Pedro says, “this isn’t a Valley: it’s a Canyon!”

Pedro heads his family’s winery, Adegas Guímaro in Ribeira Sacra’s Amandi sub-zone. He’s responsible for deft, heart-breakingly beautiful wines that justify this DO all by themselves. Guímaro was Pedro’s grandfather’s nickname – it’s Galego for rebel. Usually, people just call him Pedro Guímaro. His wines are alive, wild and free, pure expressions of the countryside in which they are grown.

Pedro descends from a long line of winegrowers working in the Amandi area, Ribeira Sacra’s most prime subzone of south facing vineyards planted on local Losa slate, just above the river Sil. The previous generation, his parents Manolo and Carmen, still work with him in the vines.  The family also maintains a small finca of mixed agriculture, very common in Galicia, raising chickens, rabbits, pigs, and cultivating a sizable vegetable patch near the adega (winery) which the family built in 1991.

Adegas Guímaro

They named their winery Guímaro (meaning “rebel” in Gallego) a term which has a special connection to history of this area. Local traditions honor an ancient revolt when armed brotherhoods, called Irmandades, challenged the local feudal nobility in the Irmandiño wars of the 15th century. Masses of peasants and townsfolk tore down castles at Monforte de Lemos, Sandiás, and elsewhere in Galicia, but the better equipped nobles eventually suppressed the revolution. But the Irmandiño Wars have a particular resonance as a historical expression of rural Galician identity as independent, self-reliant, and locally focused: the Guímaros as local farmers fighting off interfering foreign nobles.

One of the driving forces of the creation of the DO Ribeira Sacra, the Rodríguez family took a step forward in 1991 with the renovation and enlargement of their cellar and joined the appellation in 1996.

In the Vineyard

Cultivated since Roman times, Ribeira Sacra’s steep terraced vineyards are some of the most picturesque and treacherous to work in the world of wine – think of the Douro, Cote Rotie, or the Mosel.  Like those most dramatic terruños, winegrowing here is not for the faint of heart; it takes spirited determination, eternal optimism, a sense of tradition, and a willingness to collaborate.  Pedro Rodríguez of Adegas Guímaro embodies all of these qualities.

The Pérez family own 11 hectares and control another 20 leased from colleteiros (ageing subsistence growers), across a range of cold slate soils nuanced with sand and granite. Around 50 parcels in total are farmed from the steepest south-facing (50-70 degree) slopes above Rio Sil in between the towns of Amandi and Doade in the Amandi sub-zone. The soils are hard-packed dark slate with quartz, iron and mica. The bodega itself is in the hamlet of Brosmos. Pedro’s holdings are planted at around 4500 vines/hectare and yield about half a litre of wine per vine. The plots are tiny, planted between 300 metres to 550 metres altitude. New plots planted into the dense stone (there’s no soil until they create it) average about 4-5 vines per day per worker.

Guimaro’s slate soils are interpreted via a pair of Godello-based whites, a pair of multi-parcel Mencía red blends and five single-vineyard Mencía-based expressions. The single vineyards (including Ladredo which Pedro co-makes with Dirk Niepoort) range from west to east in this order:

  • Ladredo faces naciamento (east-oriented to the rising sun) and to easterly hinterland winds
  • Pombeiras (70yo granite and quartz over pizzara, south-east facing)
  • Capeliños (95yo poniente vineyard facing s-w towards Pombeiras across a valley)
  • Finca Meixeman (has a both a slate part facing naciamento and a granite-iron poniente face)
  • and A Ponte, which sits above Meixeman. This is a young vineyard of great quality planted by Pedro, and which had its first crop in 2015.

A new regional pair!

From the 2020 harvest, Pedro has introduced a new pair of wines which break down Ribeira Sacra into its two key components. Ribeira Sacra’s subzones are scattered across a frame formed by two rivers, the Sil which flow east down from Bierzo and which crashes into the Miño as it runs south from Picos de Europa. After the two intersect, they continue out to the Atlantic as the Miño.

In 2020, for the first time Pedro released a pair of wines which express Ribeira Sacra in a Miño
versus the Sil river schema.

Meet Mundin (Miño) and San Pedro (Sil)!

The focus on the almost-forgotten traditional varieties of Ribeira Sacra has become an important part of the estate’s ethos and a key aspect of their response to changing climactic conditions. Mencía is a noble grape variety, well-suited to expressing Ribeira Sacra’s terroir, and the old vines of Mencía in the Meixemán, Capeliños, and Pombeiras plots will remain at the center of the project. But, as temperatures increase, and vintages trend ever-more towards ripeness, these other heirloom varieties are destined to play an increasingly important role in the Guímaro wines. These higher-acid varieties ripen more slowly and can provide brightness in hot vintages. Thus, in 2010, Pedro planted the A Ponte vineyard in an amphitheatre shaped plot at highest point of the slopes of the river Sil, choosing to split the vineyard evenly between Mencía, Sousón, Brancellao, Merenzao and Caiño. The choice of site and of varieties is a commitment to the future: the high altitude leads to slower ripening, and the traditional local varieties retain acidity even in the hottest vintages.

In the Winery

Until 1991, the family sold their wine in bulk (mainly in 20 litre glass garrafones to local bars) before commencing estate-bottling. Pedro has run the family business since 2000 (he retired from legal practice to take over the family business). His ascension saw a reduction in yield, the banishing of chemicals and an increased focus on specificity of handling (in particular, the picking times) of the various key plots, thus enhancing the acidity and structure of the wines. Guímaro’s handling is deliberately and meaningfully ‘old-fashioned’: organic viticulture, wild yeast
fermentations, foot treading, inclusion of raspónes (stems), a low sulphur regime and ageing in old wood. While the varieties listed on bottle say Mencía and Godello, most plantings are field blends, with some Albariño and Treixadura in the whites, and other local reds such as Caiño, Merenzao, Sousón, Alicante Henri Bouschet and Mouratón (aka Juan Garcia) in the mix.

Raúl Pérez works as a consultant while making his own wines at his partner’s cellar. The arrival of one of Spain’s most respected winemakers brought new techniques to Guímaro: the shift towards natural yeasts, whole-bunch fermentation or the use of foudres or large, used barrels to age the wines.

Where in the World is Guímaro?

Guímaro has around 50 parcels in total that are farmed from the steepest south-facing (50-70 degree) slopes above Rio Sil in between the towns of Amandi and Doade in the Amandi sub-zone of Riberia Sacra in Galacia, north-west Spain.

Ribiera Sacra Map
From “LINKING WINE CULTURE, IDENTITY, TOURISM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN A DENOMINATION OF ORIGIN TERRITORY (NW OF SPAIN)1” by Elena De Uña-Álvarez & Montserrat Villarino-Pérez

 

96 Points

The 2020 Finca Capeliños comes from a warm year, but the grapes have been harvested earlier in recent years to achieve moderate alcohol and macerations have been shortened to get wines that are more elegant and harmonious. The 2020s are quite open and expressive, and the Capeliños displays impressive notes of violet pastille and a faintly Mediterranean note of aromatic herbs. This is 14% alcohol (only 0.5% more than the 2019). The tannins are very fine but quite abundant. 1,000 bottles were filled in February 2022.

Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Bodega Guímaro, Brosmos, Sober, Spain

Amandi
Ribeira Sacra
Galicia
Spain