Mar de Frades Albarino is a clear, bright wine characterised by its pale lemon-yellow colour with green glints. The nose is marked by green apples combined with lemon and grapefruit zest. As the wine opens up, notes of stone fruit and mango come to the fore, interspersed with a complex finish dominated by the minerality. On the palate, the acidity is present with immediate attack through to the lingering finish. So voluptuous yet so balanced.
You’ll find the Mar de Frades winery at the foot of the Finca Valinas vineyard, on a hillside at the heart of the Salnes Valley. It faces the Ria de Arousa estuary and it’s fair to say that it is somewhat exposed to the elements of the Gallician climate. The Salnes Valley is the coldest and wettest sub-region in Rias Baixas (the home of Albarino) but I’m told the views are pretty breathtaking so more than make up for this. I know the wines certainly do.
Rias Baixas wines, particularly Albarino, are all about the Atlantic Ocean, and the extremely poor granitic soils that the vines grow in. These elements combine to create bottles of bold, forceful, saline wines that really do conjure up a connection to the sea. Far too many winemakers talk about terroir and their wines’ sense of place when they really don’t have any. These wines from Mar de Frades, really are the landscape and climate in liquid form.
If you love zingy and complex wines with oodles of vitality then you won’t be able to get enough of this. We also have a limited amount of their astounding single vineyard Albarino available.