SOLD OUT! It is quite hard to find much technical information about this wine, so I'm just going to wing it. The first thing I'm going to tell you is that this stuff is absolutely delicious. The second thing I'll tell you is I only have 48 bottles available. Last but not least, it is one of the most singularly delightful white wines I've consumed this year. Do I have your attention yet?
This tiny estate is located in the Ribeira Sacra region of Galicia, in Northwestern Spain, and they make their wines in a very old school, traditional fashion. The winery is one of silence, beauty, and a distinct lack of technology, and proprietor Javier Domínguez and his team employ a slow and gentle transformation of grapes to wine. This approach leads to revelatory whites like this one, and their Lalume Blanco is an incredible introduction to Bibei's "house style."
2018 Dominio do Bibei Ribeiro Blanco 'Lalume'
Revelatory white wine from one of Spain's most unique regions. Really, really good stuff!
This is a wine with a story, and I think if you take some time to read it, you will be both intrigued and motivated to buy some :) Spain's Ribeiro DO is located between the famed Rias Baixas zone to the west and Ribeira Sacra to the east. The vine was first brought to the region by Romans in ancient times, and Cistercian monks acted as custodians throughout the Middle Ages. The region gained DO status in 1957, and since early times, wine has been the region's main source of income and employment.
This remote region is one of the most dramatically beautiful in Spain. Four rivers meet here, and vineyards literally cling to the steep, terraced hillsides that flank these bodies of water. If you want to take a look, click here to view some of these immaculate sites. Ribeiro's inland location shields it from most Atlantic storms, and the region tends to be quite warm and sunny, yielding white wines with good weight and body. Despite the ripeness of the wines, the acidity levels are quite high, so there's wonderful freshness to the wines as well.
Enough about the history of the region, let's talk about this exact wine. Bibei's Lalume Blanco is almost entirely Treixadura, one of the most important varieties of the region. Historically, the grape was used more for blending purposes, but in recent years, the variety is increasingly being used to make high-quality wines on its own. Treixadura, when handled with care and TLC, yields wines with wonderfully aromatic bouquets and complex flavors. Trust me, this is as fine of an example as you'll find.
From a hot year in Ribeiro, Lalume is a blend of 98% Treixadura and 2% Albarino from organic vineyards. All grapes are hand harvested, the wine is fermented with native yeasts, and it is aged in a combination of barrique, foudre, and concrete. The finished wine offers up a rocking nose of poached pear, sweet lemon, apricot, white flowers, and salty minerality. Fleshy and full-bodied on the palate, this seriously coats the palate with concentrated flavors of orchard and citrus fruits, white flowers, and pungent herbs.
I struggle to come up with a wine to compare this with, and I really don't think that is necessary. It is what it is, and it is wonderful. If you've got an adventurous palate and want to taste a world-class wine from a lesser-known region and grape, make sure you get some of this. Just 48 bottles available. Act fast!
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville