The village level Lousas wine comes from a cluster of parels dotted on either side of the Sil river between the sub-regions of Amandi and Ribeiras do Sil. In recent years the team have increasingly sought out cooler sites away from the main canyon in Amandi, either on the north facing, more granitic soils of Ribeiras do Sil or to the north of the Amandi sub-region, around the towns of Rosende and Sober. It's predominately Mencia, although as with all their wines from this area a solid 15% of the cuvee will come from heritage varietals that are still scattered through the vineyards, Palomino from the Franco days, but also Garnacha Tintorrera, Mouraton, Souson and others. The tasting note below comes from Luis Gutierrez, and provides a few details about why these wines no longer bear the stamp of the appellation.
Unfortunately, like the rest of the 2017s from Envínate in Ribeira Sacra, the 2017 Lousas Viñas de Aldea will be sold without the appellation of origin because of different, mostly bureaucratic, problems with the control body. For example, this beautiful, expressive and aromatic wine was rejected by the tasting panel because they found faults in the wine. I can tell you there are no defects in the wine, but it doesn't smell of exotic fruit from selected yeasts and doesn't reek of oak from aging in new barrels. So, if that's what they expect from the appellation wines, we might as well forget about the appellation. Anyway, the different plots are fermented separately, and they make a final blend of the wine that is aged 30% in concrete and the rest in used barriques, with a majority of grapes from Ribera del Sil. This is expressive and has been like that from the beginning, and even three weeks after bottling, the wine didn't show any fatigue, dizziness or anything at all. It's elegant, polished and really easy to drink, a little lighter than the 2016 I tasted next to it. – Luis Gutiérrez
Mencia is a variety that we have come to love over the past 5-10 years. I often compare it to Pinot Noir but really, it is a varietal all of its own and not in need of any simplistic comparisons. My note from the day I tried it reads: the nose has a lot of depth with seductive red fruit and floral tones. The palate is bright and lively with primary fruit and great acid integration. Its got Pinot-like expressiveness and a long row of tannin. – Ches Cook, FWC