nv Nanclares y Prieto Viticultures, A Senda Vermella, Vino Tinto, Galicia, Spain.
This unique non-vintage, ultra low alcohol crisp red, A Senda Vermella, is from grapes sourced vines in the Val do Salnes area run this cool Atlantic influenced region, more known for Albariño and is a blend of 60% Caiño Tinto and 40% MencÌa from different organic parcels in the Rias Baixas. Interestingly, this wine was blended from both the 2017 and 2018 vintages and therefor is sort a Spanish version of a Vin de France, that cannot be labeled with a D.O. and has just Vino Tinto by Nanclares y Prieto on the label. This purple/garnet hued A Senda Vermella is brightly fresh, bone dry and tangy, it comes in at under 11% natural alcohol and shows crunchy layers of briar laced black raspberry, plum, cranberry and sour cherry fruits along with zippy acidity, saline, wild herbs, earth, citrus rind and hints of herbal tea, all of which make for a lighter red wine that is great with mussels in tomato broth, grilled octopus and or selection of hard cheeses. I enjoyed it contently with a Monterey style Paella with a wide array of goodies in it, the racy nature of the A Senda Vermella perfectly matched up with the flavorful bounty on the plate, making for a joyous experience on the light to medium bodied, low tannin, palate. I am a huge fan of this winery, they produce an awesome collection of Albariño bottlings, including their classic (or estate) Alberto Nanclares and the vividly clear Dandelion cuvee, which are among my favorites, as well as a small series of lovely red wines, Mencia based mostly, with some grapes coming from the Ribeira Sacra as well. Over the years, since I first sampled the Nanclares wines, I’ve tried to get every vintage I could, these wines are soulful and easy to love, with Nanclares y Prieto Albariño(s) being some of my absolute favorite white wines with stunning mineral tones and Chablis like energy.
The A Senda Vermella (’17/’18) was hand crafted by Alberto Nanclares and Silvia Prieto using traditional methods and low sulfur with 100% whole cluster fermentation with foot-trodden grapes and a longish maceration that lasted close to 20 days. Then the dry wine was pressed and racked mainly used barrels, though about 20% of the vintage was rested in stainless steel tanks. The notes that the 2017 part was in oak and stainless for 22 months, and the 2018 part was aged exclusively in tank for 10 months, before being blend together. This non vintage red gets more depth and complex with air with more dark fruit coming forward as well as its savory kick with a little bite of bitterness in what is otherwise a smooth, simple pleasing and transparently quaffable wine. Silvia Prieto’s presence at Nanclares led to the lineup of red wine offerings being made at this winery and they are a wonderful addition to their portfolio. The Nanclares y Prieto Miñato da Raña, their vintage red, from the Ribeira Sacra sourced grapes is a much more serious offering and one I highly recommend, that said, I’ll most likely get a few more bottles of this fun stuff and of course add many bottles of their fantastic Albariños. Alberto Nanclares, the ex-economist, who took over full time winemaking duties for his Nanclares label in 2007, after employing a winemaking consultant for many years and the wines have been getting better and better, especially after the gifted Prieto joined him full-time just over five years ago. Alberto and Silvia farm a small bunch of parcels, which all trained in the traditional Pergola style with about 12 plots spread around the Rias Baixas with vines, as the winery notes, in the parroquias of Castrelo (South Cambados), Vilariño (North Cambados) and Padrenda (North Meaño) all of them get organic and holistic TLC including a sea weed compost to keep them health and small yields to maximize their character and quality. Come for the Albariño, stay for the reds here, it has never been a better time to discover these wines!
($35 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive