Cume do Avia

Cume do Avia
Cume do Avia

The Story

We first met Diego Collarte on an unnamed road outside of Ribadavia, in Spain’s Ribeiro wine country. As Cume do Avia’s ringleader and instigator, he’s the one who claims responsibility for the “completely irrational decision” his clan made fifteen years ago.

Diego and his brother, Álvaro, grew up in Vigo, northwestern Spain’s largest metropolitan and industrial area. The bustle of city life wasn’t in their blood, so in their early twenties they embarked on the courageous restoration of vineyards in an ancient Galician ruin where their ancestors once lived. “I was not interested in material things. I only wanted to be satisfied with what I do,” Diego explained.

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Lay of the Land

Aside from the sentimental reasons for seeking their ancestral heritage as the starting point for their dream, there were also technical ones that play to the exceptional quality of their wines: the proximity of the land to the Atlantic; the south and west-facing orientation to maximize the sun’s heat in an otherwise cold region; the richness of the diverse soils, and the constant whistle of fierce winds that bring in fresh air and help grapes to stay dry and pest free. It’s an ideal place within this lush green landscape for their organic and biodynamic practices, extremely difficult tasks in the Ribeiro, a region Diego lovingly refers to as a “paradise for fungus.” (See a 3D map of the vineyard here. The vineyards are only to the left of the main road.)

In a land mostly known for granite, the diversity of soils in their vineyards adds great breadth to their wines, filling the gaps where granite alone can fall short. From one meter to the next, their vineyard soils can quickly change from granite to schist to slate—three of the greatest soil types that exemplify the concept the French refer to as a vin de terroir. The soil grain is equally diverse and randomly shifts back and forth between sand and clay, bringing even more range of palate textures and weight. Some soils are dark orange, white or brown, depending on the mineral makeup. Within only nine hectares (twenty-two acres), it’s an extremely diverse plot of land.

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Cume do Avia - 2019 Colleita 7, Tinto

Price: $30.00
Size: 750ml
Availability: 

Out of stock

Type of Wine: Red
Grape(s): 40% Caiño Longo, 34% Sousón, 26% Brancellao
Style: Mineral, Elegant and Aromatic

The Wine

The wines etched into our memories don’t always come with obscene prices, rarity or universally acknowledged pedigrees—at least for the most adventuresome in the wine community. They are often uniquely personal and somehow evoke the memories from as far back as our childhoods. This is such a wine; it reminds me of getting lost in the wet forests surrounding the house in Montana I spent my first eight years in, picking wild huckleberries, digging in the dirt and hiding out in our pine tree forts.

Raw and enticingly naked, the Colleita Tinto is the charming starting block for Cume do Avia’s range of honest and hardly touched wines, made from a blend of indigenous red Galician varietals. Caino Longo (40%) and Brancellao (26%) bring elegance and taut red fruits, and the balance from Sousón (34%), the dark, agile beast with a deep, vigorous acidity. It’s angular but still soft and restrained, and drinks as much like a white as it does red, save its glorious, dainty and fluttery red wine characteristics and the influence of its three-week fermentation with more than a third from whole bunches.

As in all of Cume do Avia’s range, Colleita 7 checks the boxes of a true vin de terroir. A shade over 12% alcohol, it’s aged in an ancient, restored chestnut barrels, and is replete with mineral and metallic impressions derived from the acidic soil mixture of metal heavy granite, schist and slate. (No matter the scientific debate on how these characters come to a wine, these soils vividly mark them.) Its freshness is a waterlogged forest with tree bark spices, exotic sweet green pastoral herbs and wild red and black berries never touched by a direct ray of sunshine. It’s refreshingly cool, like fog rising from a slow moving river; like rain; like wet, brisk wind. It’s a wine from the Ribeiro and it tastes like that land looks and feels.

(See a 3D map of the vineyard here. The vineyards are only to the left of the main road.)

INFORMATION DISCLAIMER

Terroir: Many factors are at play in the Ribeiro: the proximity of the land to the Atlantic; the south and west-facing orientation to maximize the sun’s heat in an otherwise cold region; the constant whistle of fierce winds that bring in fresh air and help grapes to stay dry and relatively pest free; and the richness of the diverse soils. The bedrock and soil in Cume do Avia’s vineyards adds great breadth to their wines and from one meter to the next they can quickly change between igneous rocks and metamorphic. The soil grain is equally diverse and randomly shifts back and forth between sand and clay. The soils are dark orange, white or brown, depending on the mineral makeup. It’s an extremely complex area within only nine hectares (twenty-two acres).

Vinification: All the grapes are co-fermented together naturally with 40% whole cluster for three weeks in restored ancient chestnut foudre. Extraction is made in the “infusion style” with gentle pushdowns of the cap by hand to keep it moist and extract as little as possible. Malolactic fermentation is completed in this wine–noted because many of the reds in Cume do Avia’s range do not.

Aging: Five months in 50+hl ancient chestnut foudre. No fining but it a light filtration.

(Subjective and based on young wines)

General Impressions:

Elegant, Bright Red Fruit, Ethereal, Rustic, Earthy

Mineral Impressions:

Lightly SaltySaltyMetalMineralWet StoneFlintGraphiteReductivePetrol

Ageability:

Drink YoungShort-Term BenefitsLong-Term BenefitsUnknown

Technical Precision:

NatureModerateNurture

Intensity:

SubtleVigorousElectric

Core:

LitheMediumDense

Acidity:

LightMediumFullElectric

Texture:

LitheMediumDense

Body:

LightMediumFull

Tannin:

NoneLightMediumFull

Finish:

FrontMiddleBack

Wood Presence:

NoneSubtleNoticeable

The Vineyard

Soil:

Stony, sandy, clay soils derived from a granodiorite rock (a very hard igneous rock similar to granite), gneiss (a metamorphic stone) bedrock with shale, slate and a lot of quartzite.

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

Planted in 2008-2009

Altitude (meters):

260-320

Aspect:

S/SW

Slope:

Medium slope on wide terraces
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Enological Additions:

Sulfur Dioxide

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

11-11.5

pH:

3.5-3.65

Titratable Acidity:

5.0-6.0

Residual Sugar:

Dry

Notes compiled in 2019 by Ted Vance (The Source) and Diego Collarte (Cume do Avia)

About The Wine

The wines etched into our memories don’t always come with obscene prices, rarity or universally acknowledged pedigrees—at least for the most adventuresome in the wine community. They are often uniquely personal and somehow evoke the memories from as far back as our childhoods. This is such a wine; it reminds me of getting lost in the wet forests surrounding the house in Montana I spent my first eight years in, picking wild huckleberries, digging in the dirt and hiding out in our pine tree forts.

Raw and enticingly naked, the Colleita Tinto is the charming starting block for Cume do Avia’s range of honest and hardly touched wines, made from a blend of indigenous red Galician varietals. Caino Longo (40%) and Brancellao (26%) bring elegance and taut red fruits, and the balance from Sousón (34%), the dark, agile beast with a deep, vigorous acidity. It’s angular but still soft and restrained, and drinks as much like a white as it does red, save its glorious, dainty and fluttery red wine characteristics and the influence of its three-week fermentation with more than a third from whole bunches.

As in all of Cume do Avia’s range, Colleita 7 checks the boxes of a true vin de terroir. A shade over 12% alcohol, it’s aged in an ancient, restored chestnut barrels, and is replete with mineral and metallic impressions derived from the acidic soil mixture of metal heavy granite, schist and slate. (No matter the scientific debate on how these characters come to a wine, these soils vividly mark them.) Its freshness is a waterlogged forest with tree bark spices, exotic sweet green pastoral herbs and wild red and black berries never touched by a direct ray of sunshine. It’s refreshingly cool, like fog rising from a slow moving river; like rain; like wet, brisk wind. It’s a wine from the Ribeiro and it tastes like that land looks and feels.

(See a 3D map of the vineyard here. The vineyards are only to the left of the main road.)