2008 Dominio do Bibei "Lalama" Ribeira Sacra
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(90% mencia, 7% garnacha and 3% mouraton, fermented in a combination of oak and concrete and then raised for 20 months in a combination of large and small French oak casks, all used 1 to 3 times): Vivid ruby. Assertively perfumed bouquet brings forth cherry pit, black raspberry, potpourri and anise, along with mineral and cracked pepper accents. Sappy, tightly focused red and dark berry flavors of great depth and energy, with a floral pastille quality building in the glass. Finishes spicy and long, with persistent mineral and floral notes.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Lalama is a blend of mainly Mencia complemented by Garnacha, Mouraton and Brancinao (although Javier expects to increase the other varieties in the future). Around 40% is aged in the European foudres and the rest in assorted sizes of used barrels. It has a very pure, almost Burgundy (Morey) like nose with fine definition, with scents of raspberry, undergrowth and black tea. The palate is medium-bodied with a crisp, saline entry. It is very pure and represents a fine marriage between crisp acidity and supple red fruit. It is harmonious and focused with lovely dark cherry, raspberry and spice on the finish. Drink now-2016. Occasionally you have to journey to remote areas in order to reach some of Spainís finest producers, but the long drive to Dominio do Bibei to meet winemaker Javier Dominguez and his team was certainly worth it... The vines occupy steep loam and clay terraces over granite and slate bedrock that are low in organic material, located between 300 and 670 meters in altitude. Javier came across as a deeply philosophical person with strong tenets about his wines, which exuded great purity and varietal expression, almost Burgundy-like in their tannin profile, but with a little more fruit intensity. What I enjoyed was their precision and symmetry -- wines that demand concentration before sitting back and simply enjoying them.
Deeply aromatic, wild berries. The tannins are fluid across the palate, and through the luscious dark shiny fruit is a determined streak of minerality and a core of energising acidity. It packs an amazing depth of flavour and presence for the light alcohol. Long, lightly spiced finish. 17/20 points.
Dominio do Bibei is a project based in the Bibei valley in Ribeira Sacra, Northwest Spain. The vines are located on terraced clay and slate vineyards, biodynamically farmed, and the wine vinified in concrete eggs and variously shaped used oak barrels. Since the primary grape, Mencia (tiny quantites of Mouraton are blended in), tends naturally towards reduction, this style of winemaking seems to make perfect sense to create balanced, elegant wines. Organic wine, Biodynamic practices, minimal amount of sulphur added prior to bottling.