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Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine 2018

Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine 2018

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"The 2018 Le Domaine is no longer the only white in the portfolio, as it's now joined by a Godello-dominated cuvée that will carry the historical name of Cuvée Palomar. They have been making whites for 21 years, first in an experimental way and commercially since 2011. This is mostly Sauvignon Blanc, but from 2008, they started regrafting other white varieties like Verdejo or Godello that could add complexity to the blend, and there is a higher percentage of these other grapes in the blend, as the vines become more balanced. 2018 was unusually cold and wet, and they started harvesting the white grapes on September 20th and finished harvesting the last red grapes on October 25th. The grapes achieved very good ripeness, and the wines have good freshness and a gentle structure, as can be seen here, where the fermentation and aging in oak didn't mark the wine that much. There is almost 20% Verdejo here, and the varietal aromas and classical bitterness in the finish were more noticeable than in previous years. This has balance and freshness to develop nicely in bottle. 22,903 bottles and 785 magnums produced. It was bottled in May 2019.

2016 marked the 20th anniversary of Abadía Retuerta, who came out with their seminal 1996s at the end of the century, and that somehow changed the view many had about the region just outside the boundaries of Ribera del Duero (part of their vineyards are inside the appellation, as the limit crosses the property).

They have produced a 20th-anniversary red and released a white Cuvée Palomar produced mostly with Godello grapes and a red Cuvée Palomar in magnum to celebrate their anniversary. In the meantime, they fermented the first wine from the recovered ancient vineyard they found in 2007, which they have been recovering since, and they have filed the documentation to request the classification as Vino de Pago, the single-vineyard appellation that really makes sense in places like Abadía Retuerta.

They now produce some 500,000 bottles from their 192 hectares of vineyards that are divided in 54 different plots, and they have conducted multiple studies of climate change—behavior of the plants and micro-vinifications of different plots—lead by the team of chief winemaker Ángel Anocíbar and consultant Pascal Delbeck. They surely have more knowledge of their vineyards than the majority of wineries in the zone."

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (246)