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The constant search and willingness to learn more led Dirk Niepoort to the beautiful and impressive Galician wine region of Ribeira Sacra. With the help of a Spanish winemaker who knew well the region, a traditional vineyard, called Ladredo, was found on the slopes of River Sil. It is planted in small terraces, with stone walls and east exposure.

Mencía is the most important grape variety, with a very interesting aromatic profile, and the ability to originate wines with excellent acidity and great elegance.

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Vines here are 50 years, exposed to the east. This vineyard has two co-existing varieties: Mencía (called Jaen in Portugal) and Alicante Bouschet. They account for 65% and 35%, respectively, of the batch.

2010 was a very regular year in the area, with 800 mm of rain spread during winter and spring; hot summer but not excessively and good yields. All these lead to a very gentle and balanced maturation season, with good concentration without very high sugar content. Harvest was done in the 22nd of September with good weather. Fermentation was done in open wood vat with 40% of all bunches. Fermentation took 3 days to start and stayed 35 days with skin contact. The wine aged 14 months in used French oak barrels. The wine was bottled in April 2012.

Ladredo 2010 shows great freshness combined with very good concentration, with the typical aromas of Mencía, spicy, peppery and cinnamon notes, very pure fruit with cherry and red berry aromas, everything involved with the mineral stony character of the slate soils. The palate is fresh and vibrant, plenty of fruit and spices, with a present but soft tannic structure, great acidity and great length. Deep with very good ageing potential.

The wine is not clear, due to no fining nor filtration. The color can resemble the fine Cabernet Franc of Chinon or Bourgeuil. Upon opening the acidity is remarkable, but will settle with a little bit of air.

Niepoort Ladredo 2010