2017 Drew Family Cellars, Albarino “The Suitcase” Valenti Ranch, Mendocino Ridge.
The Drew “The Suitcase” Albarino is one of the rarest wines in their lineup, it is the Morgadio clone, a Rias Baixas suitcase field selection cutting, making for a wonderful Summer white that shows crisp acidity and leesy textures. Grown on the Valenti Ranch, that Jason (Drew) grafted in a small block at Valenti (Ranch) back in 2006, and with this site’s ultra cool marine climate and high elevation it might just be the most unique expression of Albarino in the new world. Sitting between 1,300 to 1,400 feet, and within 6 miles of the Pacific and set on oceanic sedimentary and gravelly loam soils, Valenti is a place where this Galician varietal can thrive and show it’s intensity with an impressive mineral character. Drew used an all native yeast fermentation, with 100% malolactic for his Albarino while employing 75% stainless and 25% neutral French oak for it’s raising, all of which gives this wine it’s Cru class personality and charm. The fruit is refined and subtle with a more stony edge showing pretty white flowers, snappy apple, dense green melon, citrus and tangy white peach along with wet rock, almond oil, creamy citron, saline and hints of spice. While steely and brisk there is a soothing sensation of mouth filling textural pleasure as well, making it a great white with an array of sea foods, especially briny dishes and or fatty fish, it reminds me of a lovely Cassis Blanc in style, and it will be a beautiful wine to have around beach picnics this Summer.
($25 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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