Mar de Frades is yet another Albarino producer that shows you don’t have to drink the wine when it’s as young as possible. Like some of the finest wines out there, you will not believe that the single vineyard Mar de Frades Finca Valinas is from 2015 when you taste it. This encapsulates everything we love about wine – its vitality, complexity and true sense of place. It will no doubt continue to improve but once you’ve tasted it you’ll find it hard to resist a second bottle or more. An astounding bottle of wine from an astoundingly exposed location.
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.
“Looking out over the Atlantic our Finca Valiñas vineyard is home to old albariño vines which grow on granite and are blessed by the microclimate of the Val do Salnés. This wine is my interpretation of a singular vineyard, in which, through the passing of time, I have sought to capture the mineral and saline profile of the most special Mar de Frades terroir”. Paula Fandiño. Mar de Frades Winemaker.