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Guimaro Finca Capelinos 2017

Guimaro Finca Capelinos 2017

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"There are no single vineyards bottled in 2016, as the grapes were destroyed by hail, so I tasted the 2017 Finca Capeliños. They used 65% full clusters in 2017 and a shorter maceration than in other years, perhaps because the very short growing season (the grapes were harvested earlier than ever) delivered less ripe seeds and stems, so that a longer maceration would have extracted harsher tannins. The dry and warm year was saved by some rain just before the harvest that allowed the grapes to develop flavors and aromas, because they were not present before. The result is very impressive. This is always the most elegant from the single-plot bottlings; the extremely old vineyard seems to provide an extra degree of nuance, and the grapes are nicely balanced, maintaining the acidity to provide the wine with freshness. 2017 is a warm year with powerful wines, a little in the style of 2015, but I see a tad more elegance and better balance here. There is power and concentration, with ripeness that is not noticed (there's 14% alcohol). It has plenty of fine-grained tannins that would benefit from some time in bottle. It should develop effortlessly for a decade. A great Capeliños. 800 bottles produced. Drink: 2019-2027. 96+ points

The terrible frost on the 15th of August 2016 made it impossible to produce the single-vineyard bottlings from that vintage.; they had to work hard to recover the vines, as they lost some vines to frost, and hail killed both very young (up to 12% in the new A Ponte) and very old plants. In 2017, the frost didn't touch them other than in some plots for the generic red; and they started recovering their normal speed and had an atypical vintage, as everything sped up. They started harvesting in August and finished on the 12th of September, compared to a normal year, when the harvest happens between mid-September and mid-October. It was a very dry and warm year. But harvesting early and using some other varieties other than Mencía (Mouratón, Caíño, Brancellao) to pump up the acidity helped balance the wines.

As for 2016, they only produced the generic wines and released a new wine, Camiño Real, from small plots across Amandi. In 2015 they had started with another single vineyard from newly planted vines, A Ponte, which was not produced in 2016 but comes back in 2017.

They have purchased some new plots of very old vines on slate, around one hectare in a slightly cooler zone and with some more soil in an abandoned village called San Pedro at the beginning of Amandi, and they might eventually plant some more. He's also focusing a bit more on Brancellao, the variety that Pedro Pérez ." 

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (241)