Wine bottle: 2019 Daterra Viticultores Gavela di Vila Viño Bianco ©Kevin Day/Opening a Bottle

Laura Lorenzo Turns Ribeira Sacra Orange

400 Words (Or So) on the Wild Ride of a Skin-Macerated Palamino

3 min read

Wine has many ways to thrill, surprise and restore. When you get all three in a single sip, its best to pay attention.

Such is the case with Daterra Viticultores’ 2019 “Gavela da Vila,” a natural wine from Galicia that is made from a grape more often associated with Andalusia. The winemaker is Laura Lorenzo, a native of the town of Allariz who named her fledgling winery after the collection of grape-growers she works with throughout the steep-sided Bibei Valley in northwest Spain. Her aim is to showcase the diversity of the region’s vineyards and grapes, and in “Gavela da Vila,” that means giving Palomino a platform to show off a wild nature we don’t get to see in sherry, where it is best known.

The bush-trained vines from this vineyard are estimated to be between 80 and 100 years old. They grow out of a quartz-heavy granite typical of the area. To showcase their character, Lorenzo ferments the wine for two weeks in 1,000-litre chestnut casks with the skins in contact with the juice, a process that not only stains the wine amber but seems to extract a lovely canned-peach richness from the grapes. Once fermentation is complete, she allows the lees to settle and remain in contact with the wine, lending a lovely leather-quality to the nose. Through the core of the wine, I found a focused and sharp grapefruit-like acidity that balances out the whole equation.

With its low alcohol and steady momentum on the palate, I see a wine ideally suited for the summer months. This is a new side of Spain worth seeking out.

2019 Daterra Viticultores “Gavela da Vila” Viño Bianco

2019 Daterra Viticultores "Gavela Da Vila" Viño BiancoVal do Bibei VdT (Galicia)
Grapes: Palomino (100%)
Alcohol: 12%
Opinion: ★★★★ 3/4 (out of five)
Food-friendliness: Selective
Value: As expected

   

A beginner might like … the similarities to cider and, yes, even lambic beer. In its softness and slightly sour fruitiness, Gavela da Vila lends a type of refreshment that wine drinker’s might not immediately recognize if they’ve never encountered an orange wine. I offered this wine to some non-obsessive wine friends, and it took them a while to make heads or tails of it. But if you are intrigued by the idea of a textural wine offering tones of peach, grapefruit and leather, give this a shot. My guess is it will satisfy your curiosity and then some.

A wine obsessive might like … the textural wonder of this wine. Here’s why I’m rating this wine so highly: it’s juicy core plus silky tannins plus salty finish all combine to create a thrilling sip. If you are a fan of sherry, then you certainly ought to explore this wine. Obviously, comparing a macerated wine to a fortified wine is the definition of apples to oranges, but this is a rendition of Palomino that will enhance your wine lexicon.

 

Note: This wine was purchased with funds raised through subscriptions like yours. Thank you.

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