Eulogio and his wife Rebecca of Bodegas Zarate in Rias Baixas started a tiny “side project” in 2015, sourcing grapes from several plots nearby in the Val de Salnes, but vineyards located closer to the sea where the soils and microclimate are slightly different than at the Zarate estate. They work organically, abandoning mineral fertilizers, which they describe as ‘dead minerals’. Instead, they use shells from the surrounding coastline which provide the calcium and magnesium the vines need and don’t get from the acidic soils. He also uses seaweed as compost.
100% Albariño from a tiny plot (organic in practice) in the Francón vineyard on the banks of the Umia River. It’s the most coastal plot in the whole vineyard and the roots of the 40-year-old vines have direct contact with the Atlantic Ocean. The harvest is done by hand and the meticulous grape selection is done within the Francón parcel itself. The grapes are destemmed and introduced into a long, soft press which yields a lower quantity of juice. After a light racking, the wine ferments spontaneously in a French barrel of 2500L where it stays on its lees for 6 months without bâtonnage. The wine completes a spontaneous full malolactic fermentation in its own time. After a light racking, it stays in the foudre for an additional three months while it melts into the perfect integration. 3,300 bottles were produced.
It’s saline, salty, and moreish, as you might expect, but with beautifully crystalline citrus and nectarine fruit to balance. Despite its freshness, the wine is not as tense as Zarate's labels as the weight lies in the front palate due to the difference in the soil (sandier rather than granitic). A cuvée to indulge yourself with.
Albariño, Pedraneira, Eulogio Pomares, Rias Baixas,2021
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