We love when we’re able to step our game up in regions that we love but are often dominated by mediocrity. Albarino is one of them. We have long term favorites like Fefinanes an easy go-to and Albeto Nanclares an old school star, but so much that we taste other than those too is simple, modern, and are essentially commercial wines lacking character. That makes it all the more fun when we can add another domaine to the short list. Zarate here is one of the longest tenured, old school legends of the Rias Baixas. A seven generation estate founded in 1707 that has very old vines, cold mineral driven terroirs. It is very hard to farm naturally in this part of the world and the domaine works in basically complete biodynamic methods. Vines are planted through massalle selection, fermentations are with indigenous yeast - they are doing all the right things and their wines really show this commitment in both vineyard and cellar. They are powerful, discrete, high-toned, mineral driven Albarino’s that can age extremely well.
They are also incredibly beautiful young, refreshing on hot summer days and interesting year round when paired with your freshest seafood. They kill with shellfish. Imported in limited amounts, retail accounts are allocated very small batches before they become limited to top restaurant wine lists only. Luis Gutierrez gives this wine top notes every year in the Wine Advocate making allocations tighter (the 2018 has yet to be reviewed). The 2018 flagship Albarino is just being released and we get a single batch next week which is the perfect way to signal spring is in full bloom and warmer days are ahead. A new producer to add to our mix and one of our best little discoveries this year.