This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Red Northwest Spain over £15 went to Finca Millara, Ribeira Sacra 2010 (13.5%)
- Marqués de la Concordia, Hacienda Zorita Natural Reserve Syrah, Castilla y Léon 2011
- Ribas del Cúa, Privilegio, Bierzo 2010
The Ribeira Sacra region in Galicia is a stunning part of Celtic Spain characterised by steep, terraced vineyards that wind their way along the banks of the rivers Miño and Sil, and it is in the valleys of the Miño where Finca Millara is based.
Partially dug into the earth to retain a naturally cool, constant temperature, the winery’s original building dates back to the 12th century and has been classically restored. Surrounded by olive trees, cherry trees and cork forests, Finca Millara has also had to over haul many of its vineyards. Working here is not easy, with the vines clinging to ancient slate terraces – some on bewildering slopes with gradients as steep as 50%.
Introduced into the area by pilgrims ontheir journey to Santiago de Compostela,the region’s main grape is Mencía. Thevariety thrives in this dry environment, where the vines have to force their roots deep into the earth to access any moisture.
Once harvested by hand, the Mencía grapes for this Trophy-winner are placed into a cooling chamber to keep them fresh. Once the berries are double-sorted and fermented, the resulting juice goes into new French oak barrels for 12 months, and then matures in bottle for a further year. It’s a stunning wine, truly worthy of the equally majestic scenery of its birth place.
Written by Decanter