Fantastic Representation of Albariño

Today’s Story: La Marea

La Marea is a very small wine label focused on Spanish varieties in the I. Brand & Family Wines portfolio. Established by Ian Brand and his wife Heather, I. Brand & Family Wines consists of the labels I. Brand & Family (California inspired wines), Le P’tit Paysan (French inspired wines), and La Marea. La Marea yields highly limited quantities of Grenache and Albariño wines, with all fruit sourced from sustainably or organically farmed vineyards in the Monterey Bay area. These wines are meant to showcase the challenging terroir of the largely limestone, rocky, salty, and windswept Monterey Bay region and with La Marea Ian is dedicated to single vineyard bottlings that express each unique site. Ian delicately crafts transparent wines using a combination of native and cultured yeast for fermentation and typically neutral oak for aging.

Today’s Wine: 2019 Kristy Vineyard Albariño

100% Albariño; 13.2% ABV

The 2019 Kristy Vineyard Albariño is deep straw/pale yellow in color and transparent. A somewhat delicate nose opens to showcase aromas of lemon zest, grapefruit, summer melon, white and yellow florals, sea shell, and saline. Moving onto the palate, the wine displays similar sea-filled notes with stone fruit, honeydew, white peach, lime, wax, brine, and marine mineral. This is light-bodied with vibrant high acidity and a plush mouthfeel that yields to a crisp and immensely refreshing finish. 850 cases produced.

Price: $24. I think this is absolutely worth the price and is a fantastic representation of the Albariño variety. When I saw this is coming from the Monterey Bay area of California I had to give it a shot and am incredibly glad I did. Pair this with oysters, lightly smoked whitefish, or ceviche.

Magnificent QPR for an Outstanding Albariño

Today’s Story: Coto de Gomariz

Coto de Gomariz is located in Ribeiro, a Spanish DO (Denominación de Origen) in the Avia River Valley in Galicia. Though Coto de Gomariz is proud to say they grow their vines in the oldest documented wine preserve in the Iberian Peninsula (it dates back to the 10th century), it wasn’t until the 1970s that Ricardo Carreiro started restructuring the family vineyards by planting only indigenous varieties. During the 1980s, Coto de Gomariz started bottling and marketing their first wines and by the late 1980s they became some of the most renowned from Galicia. Beginning in 2004, Coto de Gomariz started practicing organic and biodynamic farming under Ricardo’s son (also Ricardo) and their wines are made in a non-interventionist style. Fermentation is accomplished naturally with native yeasts and the wines are bottled without filtration.

Today’s Wine: 2017 Albariño Viño de Encostas de Xistos

95% Albariño, 5% Treixadura; 13.5% ABV

The 2017 Viño de Encostas de Xistos is a crystal clear deep straw color with gold variation near the sides of the glass and water white near the rim. The nose showcases aromas of lemon zest, golden apple, peach, honeydew, white florals, white pepper, and saline minerality. Once in the mouth, this refreshing Albariño displays notes of grapefruit, lemon citrus, apricot, stone fruit, honey, elderflower, exotic white spice, slate, and stoney minerality. This wine is medium-bodied with vibrant medium (+) acidity and a lingering finish that makes you want to take another sip. 500 cases produced.

Price: $25. This offers an outstanding QPR and would make for a fantastic summer wine (yes I know it’s winter). Pair this with white fish, sole, leafy greens, or fish tacos.