ABOUT: Diego de Lemos is a small producer from the Ribeira Sacra DO in Galicia, up in the northwest corner of Spain above Portugal. Lemos was the first to be certified organic in Ribeira Sacra in 2002 and makes some outstanding reds and whites from river-side slopes of granite and clay. In this rugged continental, Atlantic-influenced wine country Mencia rules the roost, making red wines that are beloved by all those who’ve spent time with it. The whites deserve love too, they are made from Godello, Treixadura, Albarino and Loureira among others. The region only achieved DO status in 1996 and the entry for it in my well-worn copy of Wine by Jancis Robinson is two sentences long. The wines from Galicia are certainly original and have little in common with the rest of Spain, nor Portugal, which makes it a must-try in our book. And look up pictures of the area as well, incredible. The pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela seems like less of a pain in the ass with a good glass of Mencia or Godello waiting for you.
TASTE: Wow, this was an unexpected treat for sure. Admittedly, we have very little tasting experience with Godello or Treixadura, and this was the exact opposite of the majority of white wine we regularly consume. The wine is developed (tasting in 2020) and has aromas and flavors of lemon, apricot, pear, almond, citrus peel, honey, lavender and sea brine. While the wines of Ribeira Sacra are wholly unique, this wine definitely shares an oxidative soul with wines from Jerez. And the acid isn’t high, which is unlike 99% of the white wine we taste, more like a agreeable medium. This leads to a richer, calmer, fleshy body and is very pleasant to drink. It would probably disappoint a crowd or a wedding, but share this bottle with another wine-interested friend and there would be a lot to discuss.
PAIR: Patatas bravas, black bean and corn empanadas, grilled summer vegetables, fried green peppers, and leek and goat cheese croquetas.