Rias Biaxas, Galicia, Spain
Adegas D'Altamira was established in 2002 and in this short period has won over thirty national and international awards for their wines. The current 'Selección' Albariño is holder of the Decanter World Wine awards trophy for best Spanish white. If that were not enough the junior vesion 'Brandal' Albariño picked up a bronze medal in the same competition. The wines are made using a ganimedes fermenation system - originally designed for red wine fermentation, where fruit extraction is given priority over tannins - but cleverly adapted here to produce white wines that are bright, fresh and clean, avoiding the candlewax /phenolic character that can sometimes overwhelm these delicate wines. Learn more at www.ganimede.com
The vineyards are located in the Salnes valley, close to the seaside resorts of Sanxenxo and O Grove. Land prices (and therefore grape prices) are continuously under pressure in this popular area. In an area continually troubled by cloud and humidity, it is a wonder that vineyards thrive at all. But the Albariño is one of the smallest grapes around, and its thick skin not only protects it from the vagaries of the weather, but gives a high skin/juice ratio that is critical in giving the rich mineral flavours so typical of the variety. At Adegas D'Altamira the wines are aged for a considerable time on their lees. The annual wine is only released, typically, in July of the year after harvest.
The result is a deep, intense, rich 'stone fruit' and mineralic wine of considerable quality and character.
Brandal Albariño 2010
Adegas D'Altamira Selección Albariño 2009
Click here for hi-res picture of the range
Winery owner José Touriño talks about the Brandal