Porto de Lobos 2018

Producer: Adega Ponte da Boga
Region: Galicia
Appellation: Ribeira Sacra
Country: Spain
Classification: DO
Wine Type: Red
Variety: Brancellao
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 14%
Soil: Slate, schist
Farming Practices: Sustainable with organic practices
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Cellar Profile

Founded in 1898, Ponte da Boga is Ribeira Sacra’s oldest winery. It was purchased in 2006 by the Rivera family, who have focused their efforts on growing and vinifying ancient, autochthonous regional varieties including Godello, Mencia and the ultra-rare Merenzao. Their 33 hectares of vineyards surround the canyons of rivers Sil, Mino and Edo. The majority of plots are located on dizzyingly steep slopes where ‘heroic viticulture’ – including manual work using harnesses, sometimes accessed only by boats from the river – is necessary. Their oldest vines are over 100 years old. All are farmed by hand according to the concept of integrated management and only natural preventative measures are used to keep the vines healthy and pest-free. The wines are fresh and elegant, with a subtle complexity and exceptional drinkability.


Located in the heart of Galicia, Ribeira Sacra is one of Spain’s oldest and most obscure wine regions, known for its dramatic, deep valleys and extremely steep, terraced vineyards that cut through its many rivers and tributaries. Ribeira Sacra is home to a wide array of indigenous grape varieties, chief among them for whites being Albariño and Godello (the real star of the region). Red grapes include obscure varieties like Brancellao, Merenzao and Souson, along with the most-planted and well-known Mencia. The geologic landscape varies greatly, but schist, granite and slate are the most prevalent soil types. Vineyard sites in the region’s west are heavily influenced by the Atlantic ocean and its moderating climatic effect. As you move east and inland, the climate becomes more traditionally Continental. In general, climatic conditions here make grape growing a somewhat difficult process. When combined with naturally low yields and necessary ‘heroic viticulture’, Ribeira Sacra vineyards are labour-intensive and costly to manage. However, the results can be well worth the expense, with the very best wines offering a rare combination of freshness, power, elegance, fruit intensity and complex savoury intrigue. They are at their best at the table alongside a variety of fare, Spanish and otherwise.


Located in the parish of Alais, overlooking the river Edo. These grapes come from vines planted a century ago in poor, stony soil on terraces with impressive stone walls more than two metres high. These gnarled old vines must be tended and harvested by hand. The slate and schist underneath give the wines a marked minerality.


Also known as Alvarelhão, Brancellao is an Iberian grape that has very limited plantings in Spain and Northern Portugal, particularly the Dão region. Used as a blending partner in Portugal, it is generally a monovarietal in Spain and is accepted in the DO of Ribeira Sacra, where Ponte da Boga is located. Thin-skinned, with fairly large berries, the grape gives wines that are brilliant ruby but quite light in colour. These wines are typically high acid and light- to medium-bodied. However, with careful management and vineyard selection, the grapes ripen more and the resulting wines have a much larger profile.


Hand-harvested and carried to the winery in small boxes, from steeply-terraced vineyards. The grapes are sorted and de-stemmed before being pressed into concrete and stainless steel for maceration, with pumpovers of the cap. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation before being transferred into seasoned oak for 10 months of aging. It is then bottled and aged for another few years before release.

Tasting Notes 

Brilliant purple, with garnet notes. Red currant, licorice, bay leaf and floral notes on the nose. The palate is rich and textured. This is a larger expression of the grape than most, but the zippy acidity keeps it balanced. Tannins are minimal. Red currant, strawberry and blackberry on the palate, along with crunchy minerality. The finish is long and complex, with the floral elements reappearing. Chill to cellar temperature and serve with venison chops, roast pork or grilled calamari.