Bernardo Estévez - Ribeiro Chánselus Blanco 2016
From the importer -
Bernardo Estévez came into winemaking after an earlier career as an auto mechanic in Vigo. He moved to Arnoia, a small town in southern Ribeiro close to the Portugal border where his parents & grandparents are from, in 2009 after splitting his time between the two. He now has 3ha of vines in 5 subzones, and manages them all himself. Bernardo works organically and biodynamically, applying treatments and infusions that he brews at home. His new line of wines are named “Chánselus” - “chans” means soil in Castellano, and “lus” meaning light, or the exposition in relation to the sun. Therefore “Chans e Lus” denotes “soil and exposition” which Bernardo feels are the main contributors to the quality of his wine.
The Ribeiro D.O. is an ancient Galician wine region located 45 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, just north of Portugal. Ribeiro had historically produced Spain’s most prestigious white wines, but in the early 20th century oidium, phylloxera, and war devastated the region and Ribeiro’s wines lost favor. Native vines were torn up, and Palomino was widely planted due to its higher yields. Cooperatives took over most of the production. By utilizing a mix of old-fashioned and modern winegrowing methods, Bernardo and a few others are responsible for the revitalization of artisanal Ribeiro winegrowing.
Chanselus Castes Brancas is Bernardo’s main white wine, a field blend consisting primarily of Lado & Treixadura along with other indigenous varieties of his region. The fruit is harvested by hand in late September and pressed whole cluster directly to old 500L French oak barrels and 1500L chestnut foudre (his grandfather’s) for primary fermentation with wild yeast and aged 9-10 months before being bottled with minimal sulfur and light fining & filtration, and aged in bottle at least 14 months before release.