Saturday, November 12, 2016

Adega Manuel Formigo Grand Cru Quality Treixadura-based White Wines from Ribeiro (Galicia)

* * * * *
Persistence of Memory* (Salvador Dalí) Five-Watch Rating

Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012 / 
Adega Manuel Formigo, 32431 Beade (Ourense), Galicia /


Adega Manuel Formigo Grand Cru Quality 
Treixadura-based White Wines from Ribeiro (Galicia)

Agustín Formigo Raña, his wife María del Carmen de la Fuente de la Torre and their son, winemaker Manuel Formigo de la Fuente, the Formigo family of viticulturists and winemakers, has been closely connected with wines from the Ribeiro for many generations in the village of Beade.   Beade is in Ourense, one of the four provinces of emerald Galicia in northwestern Spain just north of the border with Portugal and  is just a few kilometers north of the ancient town of Ribadavia, which has one of the best preserved medieval Jewish quarters in Spain (see slide show below). 

(Double-click on the images and go to Picasa, then click on "slide show" and F11 for a full-screen view.)

Adega Manuel Formigo makes primarily white wines of character and quality,  reflecting the greatness of his family’s  vineyards and the arduous and meticulous work that the Formigo family performs the whole year in their small winery and in their five vineyards scattered around Beade.   Formigo means ant in Gallego and some of their wines display an the silhouette of an ant on the labels, symbolic of the family name and their propensity for hard work.  

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The Wines of Adega Manuel Formigo:

Finca Teira Blanco 2014** (D.O. Ribeiro), 12.7%  alcohol, 12/750ML 
Production:  1100 cases, 100 available for the United States, just 50 cases on the first order.

"The 2014 Finca Teira Blanco from Manuel Formigo is a lovely bottle. This is a blend of seventy percent Treixadura, twenty percent Godello and ten percent Torrontés. The new vintage delivers a fine bouquet of apple, pear, salty soil tones, a touch of honeysuckle and a gentle top-note of spices. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and nascently complex, with a fine core, bright acids and lovely focus and grip on the poised and well-balanced finish. As my visit here in October of 2014 showed, this bottling ages very well (we tasted back to 2006 at that time) and this wine will continue to improve as it has some bottle age. Fine juice. 2016-2025+.   90." - - John Gilman, View From The Cellar
 "Bodegas Manuel Formigo Finca Teira Blanco 2011. This is a blend of grapes found mostly in northwestern Spain: treixadura (65 percent), godello (20 percent), and torrontés (15 percent; this is not, incidentally, the same grape that goes by this name in Argentina). It is wonderfully fragrant — think of honeysuckle and jasmine — but pleasantly sharp and well-defined on the palate."  - - Colman Andrews, The Daily Meal.  Read more: Spanish Wines — A Seductive New Crop: Godello, mencia, and other less-than-famous Iberian grapes shine in a new selection from Spanish wine expert Gerry Dawes

Grape Varieties:  Treixadura (65%), Godello (20%), Torrontés (15%).  Exclusively from free-run must from selected grapes from the Miñoteira y Portela vineyards. 92+ points.

Brilliant, profound green-gold.  Impressive, expressive nose of honeysuckle and peach.  After ten minutes, the wine opens up to show a beautiful, spicy sweet fruit reminiscent of honeysuckle and white peach, bracing acidity and a long mineral-laced finish.   

Teira X 2013* (D.O. Ribeiro), 13% alcohol 6/750ML


"I first tasted the 2013 Teira X Blanco from Manuel Formigo during my visit to the adega in the fall of 2014, and at that time the wine was very youthful and promising. The passing years have done justice and the wine today is drinking beautifully, offering up a complex nose of pear, orange peel, a nice touch of Ribeiro spiciness, salty soil tones and a top-note of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and rock solid at the core, with bright acids, fine focus and complexity and a long, balanced and energetic finish. This was one of the riper years for the Teira X, coming in at thirteen percent alcohol, but the wine is aging beautifully and has many, many years still ahead of it. 2016-2030. 93." - - John Gilman, View From The Cellar

Production:  335 6-bottle cases, of which 40 cases are available for the U.S. market.  We are getting 10 cases on the first shipment.

Grape Varieties:  Treixadura (60%),  Alvilla (15%),  Albariño (15%), Loureira (10%)

Made from  grapes from selected 30–year old Treixadura vines, along with alvilla, albariño and loureira grapes, all from the Formigo’s top vineyard, Finca Miño Teira.

Flashes of deep green-gold.   This simple had only been in bottle for two months and was still somewhat closed, but showed hints of stone fruits and minerality.   Tiera X has excellent structure and acidity with hints of tropical fruit, honeysuckle and coconut that expand in the glass with aeration and are underpinned with that haunting granite minerality.  95 points.

Postnote (3/29/2012): Since these wines have been in the U.S., I have had a number of opportunities not just to taste the wines of Manuel Formigo, but to drink them with meals.  The quality is exceptional and I am ordering as much of these wines as Manuel can give me. 

--Tasting notes by Gerry Dawes.

Manuel Formigo with his Teira X white wine.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012 / 

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