Poetry Near The Ocean
Albamar 2013 Rías Baixas O Esteiro Tinto
Xurxo Alba follows a vision, a whole new take, one that brings the landscape together and further increases what the appellation can be. It is without a doubt, one of the most stunning red wines I have tasted from Rías Baixas.
Xurxo's family have been making wine in Rías Baixas for generations but it wasn't until Xurxo finished his oenological studies in 2006 that they started bottling their own wines. They own 2.5 hectares but source grapes from a total of 10 hectares spread throughout the region. Farming has been organic since the beginning, and spontaneous fermentations with native yeasts is a given at Bodegas Albamar. Working with the lees and the use of oak is done on a wine by wine basis.
The 2013 O Esteiro is equal parts Espadeiro, Caíno Tinto, and Mencía from vines over eighty years old planted on sandy soil in an area called O Esteiro. Whole clusters are foot stomped and fermented in stainless steel tanks. It is lightly pressed and transferred into used French oak barrels where alcoholic and malolactic fermentations are finished. The wine is aged for eight months before it is racked and bottled. A small amount of sulphur is added after malolactic fermentation.
Triumphantly open for business, the 2013 O Esteiro is pure and gorgeous. Bloody, brambly fruit, and dark saline minerals explode on the palate. Succulent and light on its feet, with refreshing aromas of violet, crushed-red berries, and herbs. Only a 120 bottles of this precise expression from Rías Baixas arrived into the US. and we have a few bottles. -DM