Appellation: Rias Baixas
Color/Style: Red, Medium Bodied
Grapes: Menica, Garnacha Tintorera
60 % Mencía, 30% Garnacha Tintorera and 10% white grapes (Godello and Palomino) from the centenarian Finca A Raña in O Saviñao, Ribeira Sacra. The terraced vineyard is highly sloped, and the soils are granitic. The grapes were harvested by hand, sorted, and foot-trod with the stems in 600L used French oak barrels. Native yeast fermentation began while the juice macerated with its skins for 15 days before racking into used French oak barrels, where the wine rested on its lees for 9 months, with weekly batonnage for the first month.
Alberto Nanclares and Silvia Prieto make transparent, Atlantic-influenced wines, mainly with Albariño from old vines around the village of Cambados. Employing organic farming practices and a restrained hand in the cellar, the pair have managed something very rare: the refinement of Albariño into angular, age-worthy wines that express the fascinating terruños of Cambados and Rías Baixas.
The essence of their approach is reverence for the vineyard, from organic farming to fermentation by native yeasts: "In the winery, we respect the grapes as much as possible, we don't use any winemaking additions besides moderate amounts of SO2. We do not ferment with pie de cuba (pied-de-cuve) in order to preserve the identity of each vineyard," Alberto says. To express the edginess of the naturally high in acidity Albariño grape, he eschews adding potassium, which is what many in Rías Baixas use to de-acidify and soften their wines. Malolactic fermentation rarely occurs, and the wines spend a good amount of time (often a year or more) on their lees before being bottled without clarification or filtration.