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Ronsel do Sil

Ronsel do Sil Alpendre Merenzao 2021 (750 ml)

Ronsel do Sil Alpendre Merenzao 2021 (750 ml)

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100% Merenzao (Trousseau)

The Ronsel do Sil ‘Alpendre’ Merenzao comes from some of the most intense slopes of the region, situated at 500-750 meters above sea level, and all from east facing mountainsides with a 50% slope. This dramatic terroir is full of granite and slate soils and 50 year-old vine Merenzao, which is the local name for the Trousseau grape. Hand harvesting is mandatory here, and can also be very dangerous, in order to get the grapes into the cellar for a natural fermentation in 2500 liter oak foudres. Once complete, the wine is placed into just a few neutral French barrels of 228 and 500 liters, for about 6 months before it is then bottled. The resulting wine is alive and expressive beyond description, with fresh and spicy aromas of red fruits that jump out of the glass, alongside a clear and distinctive elegance that somehow is captured in smell. The palate is long and seductive, with fresh raspberry and black cherry, hints of spice, and pretty dark flowers, with acidity to keep the mouth intrigued, and a finish that is complex and contemplative.

Ronsel do Sil is situated in one of the world's most extreme grape growing regions, the Ribeira Sacra DO of northwestern Spain. With vineyards planted throughout treacherously steep slopes (ranging from 300 to 700 meters above sea level), all pruning, maintenance, and harvest is carried out by hand on old terraces built by the ancient Romans called Bancales. Maria José Yravedra is an absolute visionary for the region, producing wines that not only show incredible varietal integrity, but she accomplishes this through natural farming and biodynamic principles, making around 45,000 bottles a year from their 10 hectare estate. Her philosophy is based on what she calls 'heroic' viticulture, reflecting a sincere balance with nature, though love and compromise with the land. Aside from composting each year with gorse (the last harvest's pruning and remains), sheep graze the vineyards once a year to add their natural flare and keep excess plants at bay. In the cellar, an absolutely minimal approach is the secret to each perfect bottling, with a gravity flow system instead of pumps, all old wood and concrete use for aging, and very little sulfur additions, letting the native grapes of the area tell their individual story.

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