Home > ModGoodDevelop, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > The Finely Textured 2006 Bibei, Lalama, Ribeira Sacra

The Finely Textured 2006 Bibei, Lalama, Ribeira Sacra


I first experienced a wine from Ribeira Sacra when we drank an excellent bottle of 2007 D. Ventura, Vina Caneiro earlier this year.  We had already drunk a fair amout of Mencia from Bierzo and were thrilled to enjoy Mencia from Ribeira Sacra.  I recently purchased four more wines from this ancient, mountainous region one from Dominio do Bibei and three from D. Ventura.  This selection from Dominio do Bibei is imported by De Maison Selections and distributed in my area by Bacchus Importers Ltd.  It retails for $35.  This is a wine which I recommend that you try.  While I am inclined to cellar it for the short-term you may enjoy this now after 2-3 hours of air.

The Winery, Image from Dominio do Bibei (flickr)

Dominio do Bibei is owned by Javier Dominguez and his wife Maria.  The winemaker Laura Lorenzo works with Suso Prieto Perez.  There is consulting input from Sara Perez & Rene Barbier, Jr, of Mas Sorrer and Venus la Universal.  This 127 hectare estate contains 45 hectares of vines.  There are many vines over 50 years of age.  New plots are being planted with cuttings from the old vines.  This gravity fed winery employs only oak and cement in the production of wine.

Terraced Vineyard, Image from Dominio do Bibei (flickr)

This wine is a blend of 85% Mencia, 7% Garnacha Tintorera, with the remaining 8% Brancellao and Mouraton.  The grapes are sourced from vines 15-100 years of age.  The terraced soils are a combination of mostly slate and some clay and located at 300-640 meters.  The fruit is fermented with indigenous yeast in open barrels and foudres then aged on the lees for 21 months in foudre and 1-3 year old French oak barrels.  There is  a further 18 months of bottle aging before release.

2006 Bodega Dominio do Bibei, Lalama, Ribeira Sacra
There is a good nose followed by a mouth of red fruit with waves of acidity.  This balanced wine is finely made with flavors of dark red berries, raspberry, and minerally dust.  With air the expansive fruit has a fine texture with flavors of floral black fruit in the finish.  The long aftertaste contains dark red berries.  It was a pleasure to drink.  This wine is slow to unveil and could use a few more years of age. **(**) 2015-2020.

  1. Ian
    December 16, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Quote “This gravity fed winery employs only oak and cement in the production of wine.”
    Cement? most producers of wine in the Ribeira Sacra use Stainless steel tanks to preserve the natural tastes one acquires from the Mencia grape. Some bodegas are experimenting with oak barrels these days.

    • December 16, 2011 at 8:01 am

      I drink a lot of wine from the Rhone so I am accustomed to reading about cement tanks. I did not realize they are unusual in Ribeira Sacra. From the DeMaison Selections website for Dominio do Bibei, “There are no stainless steel tanks; wood or cement are the vehicles of choice and they come in all the different sizes.” Thank you for commenting! Aaron

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