2020 Nanclares y Prieto, Albarino “Pergola Dandelion” Ollando a Terra, Salnés, Rias Baixas DO, Galicia, Spain.
The entry level, all stainless steel fermented and aged, Dandelion cuvée Albarino from Nanclares y Prieto is one of the great values in old world white wines and is a pure and terroir driven offering not to be missed, especially this 2020 that sports the new label. Still bright and salty on the light to medium bodied palate, the pale golden Dandelion Albarino is steely crisp and Chablis like with subtle fruitiness, with green apple, tart peach, muskmelon and racy lemony citrus, along with classic mineral, wet stones, hints of straw, verbena white flowers, tangy herb and subtle yeasty or almond notes. The Ocean is clearly captured with briny sea breeze always present here, good natural acidity keeps the energy up too, but there’s a vinous textural quality here, that all really appeals and gives these Nanclares y Prieto wines their signature personality. I have been seriously following Alberto Nanclares and his wines since they were first imported to the states and now with Silvia Prieto, who joined him in 2014 as a dynamic young winemaking talent, these are some of my favorite Spanish wines, mainly focused on Albarino, though they have added a couple of intriguing reds to the collection, including some excellent Mencia based wines. Coming from various exposures, unique plots and vines ranging from 20 to 45 years old, this Nanclares y Prieto Pergola Dandelion makes for a great Summer sipper and is more impressive with the native cuisine, going great to wash down steamed claims or mussels in white wine and scallion broth, fresh oysters and or rosemary accented grilled sardines.
This wine is typically sourced from 15 distinct parcels within 6 vineyards in the Salnés region around the village of Cambados, where Nanclares y Prieto is based, with old school traditional pergola trained vines that are influenced by the cool Atlantic Ocean and the decomposed granite sandy soils, which all highlights the mineral and saline character in the wine. Alberto Nanclares, who started this small winery, was convinced of and passion about holistic and organic farming, which with the closeness to the Ocean and the humid conditions make very difficult, but has been proven it can be done and that the wine is much better for it, even incorporating biodynamic methods in recent years, along with innovative natural seaweed composting. The winemaking, with the addition of the youthful talents of Silvia Prieto has taken on a highly detailed though low intervention style to promote transparency and a sense of place. For the Pergola Dandelion things are kept simple and precise with a slow whole cluster pressing of the grapes in a soft pneumatic press and fermented using native yeast in stainless tanks with temperature control with extremely low SO2 employed. The Albarino here, interestingly saw one month of batonage, the stirring of the lees, before resting on the lees for another 7 months before being bottled without cold stabilization and unfined and unfiltered, which allows for every nuance of the vintage to shine through. The upper end estate grown Albarinos here are absolutely awesome and each very unique, with some skin contact and various aging vessels, I have usually favored their Soverribas and Coccinella cru bottlings, as well as the Alberto Nanclares Estate bottling, which is a little step up on this one, though this always pleases and is a great way to start exploring the lineup here!
($26 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive