• Heaven Sent Albariño

    Heaven Sent Albariño

    Alberto Nanclares and Silvia Prieto's pergola-trained Albariño in Cambados, the seaside village with vines just meters from the Atlantic, marked a massive shift in my understanding of descriptors like "crystalline" and "acid-driven" when it comes to the Spanish white wine category.

    Nanclares y Prieto's U.S. importer, the legendary José Pastor, has been the gateway to many new Spanish discoveries, including Envínate and Luis Rodriguez. Nanclares follows a philosophy that Pastor has used as his foundation in building such a critical and impressive portfolio of ultra-attentive, thoughtful growers and producers.

    In 1992, Nanclares and Prieto left their native Basque country and settled in this extreme Atlantic Ocean setting in the beautifully green and lush northwest Galicia region. Organic viticulture is no easy task in Rias Baixas, as high humidity and constant rainfall mean conventional farming with chemicals and high yields are the overwhelming norm. Nanclares gradually shifted over the years to farm his parcels the right way through painstaking labor.

    Like Dauvissat's La Forest in Chablis, there's an element of clay in the soil here (mixed with decomposed granite) that gives Soverribas more texture and breadth on the palate. This single parcel, Paraje Manzaniña, is a powerful and saturating style of Albariño; however, its profile is still very much founded upon a fresh streak and salty, long finish. Note: I recommend decanting to allow the layers of complexity to unravel.

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    Posted by Max Kogod