Since his first vintage in 2001, Javier Dominguez’s Dominio do Bibei has been widely acknowledged as the driving force behind the emergence of quality wines in Spain’s historic Ribeira Sacra. His family bought land in the Bibei valley, Ribeira’s most easterly subregion, and today they own a 140 hectare estate, of which 45 hectares are planted to vines. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to revive the region and its indigenous vines, undertaking what is known locally as ‘heroic viticulture’. There are far easier places to make wine than in Ribeira Sacra. But Javier Dominguez, along with his consultant winemakers, Priorat’s Sara Pérez and René Barbier, are united in a common belief in this spectacular landscape, its ancient character and, most of all, its capacity to produce Spain’s most distinctive wines.
Vines are grown at varying altitudes from 300 to 700 metres, with loamy-sandy soils with an abundance of disaggregated shales and slates as well as granite. The vines are low yielding, trained to the goblet system and aged between 60 to 110 years old. The region’s Atlantic climate, with an average annual rainfall of 700mm mostly concentrated in the winter and spring months, helps retain freshness and acidity in the fruit.
The 2016 vintage was marked by rain. The winter was mild with the usual frosts and snow not coming until the end of February. Spring was wet and cold, delaying flowering and the vines' growth cycle. Summer was also cooler than normal slowing the grapes maturation, however, warm weather in September and October allowed for a steady and gradual harvest.
The grapes were hand-harvested and sorted both in the vineyard and again once in the winery, The fruit was destemmed then macerated for two days. Fermentation took place using indigenous yeasts in open 500 litre French oak barrels with daily punch-downs. The wine was then transferred to 300 litre barrels where it underwent malolactic fermentation.
The bouquet has aromas of rose petals, pomegranate and black cherry aromas alongside a spicy background. This is a mediumbodied, savoury red displaying lots of juicy dark fruit and a lively acidity.
|Grape Varieties||68% Mencia
|Winemaker||Paula Fernandez Trabanco|
|Notes||Sustainable, Vegan, Vegetarian|