All wines stored at 55° and 70% humidity
"La Tinaja de Aranzazu is made from Albariño grown in Alberto’s west-facing home vineyard named “Paraje Mina” plus an old plot in Ribadumia, on sandy granitic soils very rich in organic matter. After a wet and cool spring and summer, it turned dry and hot in August, with hand-harvesting on Sept. 10th through Oct. 6th. The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and wild yeast fermented in two tinajas (amphora made by J.Padilla) of 200L & 250L, and raised on the lees for 9 months with weekly battonage for the first few months, bottled in June (on a fruit day) with very modest levels of SO2 and without clarification or filtration. An ocean-infused, richly textured, and age-worthy Albariño!"
After weeks on the road covering nearly every corner of Spain I walked away with a lot of epiphany moments. But, none surpassed the thrill I had during my introduction to Alberto Nanclares. His traditional pergola-trained Albariños from Cambados, the seaside village with vines just meters from the Atlantic, marked a massive shift in my understanding on what descriptors like crystalline and acid-driven can truly mean in the context of a Spanish white wine.
legendary Spanish importer, José Pastor has been the gateway to so many new Spanish discoveries (Envínate, Luis Rodriguez, to name a couple). Nanclares reflects the philosophy in the vines and the cellar that Pastor has used as his foundation in building such a critical and impressive portfolio of ultra-attentive, thoughtful growers-producers
In 1992, Alberto Nanclares and his wife chose to leave their native Basque country and settle 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 the high humidity and constant rainfall have meant conventional farming with chemicals and extremely high yields is the overwhelming norm. There was a gradual shift over the years for Nanclares to get his parcels farmed the right way, through painstaking labor.
It's wines like these that serve as great reminders that when focus is placed squarely on quality and the most natural viticulture/winemaking the results can ultimately be game-changers for regions steeped in such history like Rias Baixas. Among all the wines I drank through the summer in Spain, there is none that I personally have reached for with more regularity since returning as those from Alberto Nanclares.