2023 La Marea by Ian Brand, Albariño, Kristy Vineyard, Monterey County.
Again, as I’ve highlighted already, this 2023 vintage is crazy good and these early releases, from California, are fabulous, expressive and vibrant offerings, especially this latest set of Ian Brand’s La Marea and P’Tit Paysan whites and his Rosé are exciting wines, as this new Albariño demonstrates with its bright and vibrant apple, peach and zesty citrus fruits and wet stones, saline, light herbs and almond accents. This lighter framed white, inspired by the classics in Spain’s Galicia area and in particular the brilliant coastal Rias Baixas region efforts, and it is a savvy buy for the exceptional quality and its sublime sea food pairing capabilities and zesty charm. With air, this steely new La Marea Kristy Vineyard gains a nice white blossom bouquet and tangy melon note and lingers with mouth watering lime, making it a fine Summer sipper and tasty with grilled fish tacos and oysters on the half shell. Most everyone, especially Monterey winemakers like Ian Brand are absolutely thrilled with this 2023 vintage and can’t wait to show them off, so stay tuned and before to act fast to grab these wines up.

Winemaker Ian Brand, who is mostly known for his reds, like Grenache and Cabernet Franc, told me recently that he’s getting really excited with the white wine grapes in the greater Monterey region and his latest set of wines reflects that, with his Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnays, this Albariño, Melon de Bourgogne, the rare Arneis and Ian’s new Verdelho, all being distinctive, thrilling and delicious! There’s quite an exciting set of white grapes growing in the Monterey region, many from Spain and Portugal, as well as Mediterranean varietals, like Vermentino and Malvasia, which have become very popular, along with a lots of white Rhône grapes, including fun rarities like Picpoul and Clairette. So there’s plenty to explore here in this large and diverse Coastal region that has many unique terroirs, such in the stony soils and warm days you find in the Southern zone, where this grape, which retains loads of fresh acidity is grown. This white wine, coming from a mix of loam and alluvial soils, saw a stainless steel fermentation and an ultra short lees aging in neural barrel and bottled quickly to preserve puritry and freshness, as can be seen here perfectly. Ian’s Sauvignon Blanc under the P’Tit Payson label too, along with the Albariño, which just was released, is one to stock up on while you can and enjoy this Spring and Summer.
($28 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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