Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2021 Spain supplement article My top 20: Galician reds (see blue link below for the review).
Bodegas Rectoral de Amandi, Matilda Nieves, Ribeira Sacra 2020 - November 2021 Decanter review
Awarded a Best In Show medal (and Value Best In Show) and 97 points at the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).
For other 2021 DWWA winners, click here.
Exel note: we are very impressed with this wine. It is very much as DWWA21 describe it in the review above. It is not a heavyweight in the world of red wine. It could perhaps be described as a Spanish Morgon (or other better, darker Beaujolais), albeit darker/blacker and "more black cherry and plum/damson" than the usual strawberry/raspberry of Gamay. The intensity/concentration of fruit, underpinned by a racy acidity, is what really shows in this wine. It is ideal for summer drinking but also has enough weight for all-round use (especially good as a lunch bottle). To describe it as 'fun' is to denigrate its quality, but it's a wine that that packs a real smile into every glass.
The Denominación de Orígen (DO) Ribeira Sacra vineyards are located in the mountainous North-West of Spain (Galicia) alongside the rivers Miño and Sil. The region can be divided into the following sub-zones; Amandi, Chantada, Quiroga-Bibei, Ribeiras do Miño and Ribeiras do Sil and the wines are to be considered mountain wines because of their cultivation far above sea-level.
The Rectoral de Amandi bodega, founded in 1989, nestles in the very heart of the Ribeira Sacra, in the region called Amandi. This location determines all the characteristics of the diverse wines that are produced at the winery. There are more than 180 hectares of private vineyards, using the support ~400 local vine growers. This is a very favourable micro-climate, planted in the traditional way on terraces on very steep hills, these reaching to altitudes of 500 metres to maximise sun-hours, protect the vines and enhance the acidity and freshness of the grapes and resulting wines. In some areas the vineyards can be found on hills with an inclination of more than 40% and also bounding on the river; hence, all grapes are necessarily hand-picked.
Macerated and fermented, with native yeasts, in contact with the skin of the grape at 25 ºC for 15-20 days in stainless steel tank. Stabilized and bottled, thus obtaining a wine rich in aromas.
85% Mencia, 8% Garnacha, 7% Sousón.
For more detail, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
Bodegas Rectoral de Amandi, Matilda Nieves, Ribeira Sacra 2020 - fiche technique
Deep cherry color with violet trim. It has a spectacular fruit flavor and an original presence of slate/mineral and spicy/toasted notes. Aromas of blackberry and liquorice. In the mouth, it has an excellent balance of fruit, tannis and acidity; the soft tannins are particularly noticeable, providing a persistent finish that lasts and invites you to keep tasting. It is delicious, well structured and has an excellent texture that coats tha palate.
Or, as DWWA21 put it, "here it is, dark, fresh and thrillingly aromatic from first sniff to last swallow. This limpid, unoaked wine is made from the Mencia grape variety (known as Jaen in Portugal) plus a little Garnacha and Souson, and the emphasis is on its sloe, bramble and damson fruits in all their primary glory, almost as if it had been run from the vats just a week or two earlier. The palate is soft-textured, mouth-filling, exuberant and comely, structured more prominently by acidity than tannin, though that acidity is sweet and juicy in its own right. There is nothing at all sharp or hard about this tender, almost lip-smacking red … yet the variety itself, and the legacy of its austere, granite-soiled origins, somehow contrive to stop the wine tasting simple."