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Alter Ribeiro Tinto 2018 £15.95
ALTER RIBEIRO TINTO
Alter came highly recommended by Lalo Antón of Izadi. He had admired this small, family-run winery since their first vintage a couple of years ago marked them out as one of the most serious producers in the region. The winery was founded by José Pérez Pousa on the banks of the Miño river in 2014, with the wish to preserve the tradition of their native land, where wine has been produced since the 2nd century BCE. The wine is named ‘alter’ to mean ‘another wine more’ in Latin.
Alter has 24 hectares of its own vineyards, which are divided into 168 small plots planted with native white varieties: Treixadura, Godello and Loureira. The vines are on average 15-30 years old, planted on decomposed granite with sand and clay. The vineyards benefit from a perfect mesoclimate with good diurnal ranges particularly during the growing season ensuring the fruit is able to fully ripen while retaining fresh acidity. All harvesting is done by hand, plot by plot at the perfect moment to ensure optimum level of ripeness which elongates their harvest.
The 2018 vintage was marked by above-average rainfall through spring and the beginning of summer which ensured the soil had good water reserves through the hot summer. The growing cycle was a week later than usual and this delay followed through the whole season. This late-ripening allowed the fruit to be harvested with a good balance of acidity and sugar.
The grapes were selected in the vineyard and handpicked in October before being transported to the winery in plastic bins. On arrival at winery, they were gently crushed and deposited in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. Maceration on the skins took place for around 10 days at 25ºC.
Made from 60% Sousão and 40% Brancellao indigenous varieties, this bright and enticing wine opens with intense aromas of red fruit on the nose. It has a fantastic, crunchy redcurrant fruit profile on the palate supported by elegant silky tannins. A delicious example of Spain's indigenous, Atlantic red varieties.