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.