2018 Alberto Nanclares, Albariño, Rias Baixas, Galicia Spain.
The Nanclares y Prieto Alberto Nanclares Albariño, their flagship bottling, is not only a great Albariño, but one of the best white wines in Europe, certainly one of my favorite wines with its bright fruit intensity, sea saltiness and beautiful mineral details it is every bit as delicious as premier cru Chablis and or top Sancerre! This 2018 shows racy acidity and a touch of leesy textural elegance with layers of tangy peach, green apple and brisk lime fruits, wet stones, citrus blossoms, spearmint and the mentioned sea shore note. This is one of the world’s classic terroir wines and its steely form and tart dryness makes it refreshing and wonderful with briny dishes, especially sardines, mackerel and oysters, it is a wine of the and for the Ocean. Alberto Nanclares, an ex economist, began a second career and life back in 992, when he and his wife moved near the ocean, leaving their native Basque Country and settling just a few miles rom the most historic village for Albariño wines, Cambados in the Val do Salnés zone of Rias Baixas. Nanclares’ site had an old vineyard and while he was not interested in making wine at first, he quickly caught the bug and has become one of Spain’s most prized producers, recently joined by the youthful talents of Silvia Prieto, who has helped lift this winery to even higher quality and has added an enthusiastic and creative focus to the mix, she has added a series of Mencia wines to the lineup as well. The Galicia region has been on an exciting roll, re-claiming its ancient glories and this winery absolutely confirms its place as one of the stars of the wine world, these are wines to discover and cherish.
This brilliant vintage of Albariño from Nanclares y Prieto has a vivid life force and clarity that makes it outstanding, it shines with a sense of place that is as transparent as the finest of old world wines can be, its Atlantic influence showing along with the sand, granite and clay soils. Alberto, after many years of learning the land and winemaking took over making his own wines in 2007 and turned to 100% organic and biodynamic methods, all of which mad a huge difference and elevated his wines to world class stuff. Farmed in the ancient pergola training, the vines are tended with endless care to avoid mildew and Nanclares even harvests seaweed to use as natural composting adding to the local cycle of life. In the cellar, very little is done other than to gently guide the wines safely to bottle with the wines seeing native yeast, parcel by parcel, for primary fermentations and almost no malo-lactic ever being done on the Albariños. The 2018 vintage was pressed whole cluster into two 2000L steel vats and five used 450-500L French oak barrels and naturally fermented and saw an extended period of lees aging, about 9 months, again with zero malos and low sulphur with no fining or filtering. This white wine is ultra tasty and profound on the zesty just about medium bodied palate making it a treat with cuisine, I enjoyed it with grilled local caught salmon and mixed greens, but I can imagine it with a wide range of things, as noted above, plus mussels and picnic foods too. The attention to detail and serious focus on quality here add to the enjoyment in this authentic and hand crafted, iconic Rias Baixas Albariño!
($35 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive