Known as Merenzao in Valdeorras and across the border in Portugal as Bastardo, this variety originates from the foothills of the Alps, where it is known as Trousseau. A difficult grape to reach full ripeness in the Jura, plantings of Trousseau there are fairly modest. In the relatively warmer climate of Ribeira Sacra, it is more successful, which explains why there is a fair amount planted in this corner of the Iberian peninsula. So unique are its racy, red-fruit flavors and spiciness that Fedellos do Couto makes a varietal-based cuvée of Bastardo from their vineyards. As with their other wines, some other varieties are co-fermented with the Bastardo. Please don’t ask us for exact percentages as not even Curro or Jesús could tell you. And to keep you off balance, they also call it Bastarda.