Adega Sameiras

Adega Sameiras is in the Galician region of Ribeiro, which is about 40 miles inland from the Atlantic Coast where the better known Galician region of Rias Baixas is located.  What is shared with Rias Baixas, however, is the major river on the southern border of Rias Baixas, and which also is the border between Spain and northern Portugal, and that is the Mino (also known as the Minho in Portugal).

 

It is an interesting area too with a mixture of cultures and languages (Gallego, Portuguese, and Espanol) and the name of the region, Ribeiro, is actually a Portuguese word meaning brook or stream.  The region is also named for the area being the confluence of three other rivers in the area, the Avia, Arnoia, and Barbatino, which all flow into the Mino and which create the valleys and microclimate which result in Ribeiro's expressive wines.

 

The expressive wines are also from a mixture of cultures as most of the varietals used in the area are better known as being grapes used in Portugal.  The more inland location (about 15 miles west of Ourense) results in a drier and more temperate climate than Rias Baixas and being sheltered from storms on the Atlantic Coast results in better growing conditions.

Adega Sameiras, although using current technology in its wine making, is also a throwback to the long history of wine production in the region.  The Romans first introduced viticulture in the area when they recognized the great conditions for growing wine grapes.  The traditions then evolved with a wine industry based on small plots around each village and most of the wine being consumed locally.  In a Spanish industry that has unfortunately been affected by large "Grupos" that run around the country and buy as many grapes and as much bulk juice that they think they can bottle and push into supermarkets, there is also fortunately still a tradition of "Colleiteros" in Ribeiro that farm their own parcels and make their own wines.

Since the entire wUst portfolio (maybe I should have rethought that name!) is based on estate grown fruit that is not a difference in our focus but in finding Antonio Cajide, the proprietor of Adega Sameiras, his skills and artistry are another example of why we focus only on producers with estate grown fruit.  Antonio farms around 14 acres in total in seven parcels where the minerality is a mixture of granite and schist along with some amount of quartz.

 

He has planted eight traditional white varietals and six red varietals throughout the parcels.  All varietals are picked and vinified separately and then Antonio has lots of fun assembling blends each year.  An interesting example of his overall attention to detail is that in addition to all work in the vineyards being done manually (a hoe is a very effective tool!) and only organic material being allowed in the vineyards, he only uses wicker for tying the branches of the vines and only junco and raffia for tying the shoots each year. 

In a portfolio where I require all wines to have a sense of place and their own unique expressiveness, I think I have certainly found that with Antonio's wines.  The two main white and red blends, both just labeled as Sameiras (and with a fun postage stamp themed label, as if Antonio is mailing you a postcard from the area) and an additional white blend with more complexity (Libro) are a delightful exploration into an important, but less well-known Spanish wine region.

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Antonio doing some pruning

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Cotano vineyard

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Forte vineyard

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Sameiras vineyard

The Wines

Sameiras Blanco 2019 (OF, NF)

 

This is a blend of 50% Treixadura, 15% Albariño, 15% Godello, 10% Lado, and 10% Loureiro.  Aromas include honeysuckle, gardenia, green apple, and pear.  Flavors include grapefruit, honeydew melon, and white peaches.  There is a medium to full body, perfect balance and acidity, and a full, refreshing, and minerally finish.

 

Food pairings would include crab, shrimp, sole, halibut, sea bass, seafood pasta, soups, and salads, veal, pork, chicken, Asian pork, chicken, and noodle dishes, creamy curries, and mild and medium cheeses.

Sameiras Tinto 2019 (OF, NF)

 

This is a blend of 40% Souson, 35% Caiño, 20% Brancellao, and 5% Ferrol.  Aromas include dark cherries, dark chocolate, cassis, blackberries, vanilla, and nectarines.  Flavors include blackberries, boysenberries, and vanilla.  There is a medium body, good balance and acidity which saturates the palate, and a refreshing minerally finish with a hint of tannins.

 

Food pairings would include short ribs, beef stew, veal chops, veal stew, pork chops, carnitas, grilled sausages, grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon, branzino, red snapper, steamed clams, paella, pasta with light tomato sauce, enchiladas, charcuterie, and mild, medium, rich, and blue cheeses.

Libro 2019 (OF, NF)

 

This is a blend of 40% Albariño, 35% Lado, and 25% Loureiro.  Aromas include white flowers, jasmine, honeysuckle, and pink grapefruit.  Flavors include white peaches, ripe honeydew melon, and cantaloupe.  There is a rich medium to full body, perfect balance and acidity, and a fully saturated and long minerally finish.

 

Food pairings would include crab, shrimp, sole, halibut, sea bass, seafood pasta and salads, veal, pork, chicken, paella, tapas, Asian vegetable salads and noodle dishes, Mexican pork and chicken dishes, grilled sausages, salads, and all cheeses.

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