Zarate Albarino El Palomar 2015

75cl Bodegas Zarate Albariño Rias Baixas > Something Special
"The only one wine that sees any oak here is the Albariño El Palomar. It is sourced from an ancient 0.36-hectare plot of ungrafted Albariño, which is believed to be the oldest vineyard in the whole of Rías Baixas. The granite soils are shallow and tend to produce low yields (44 hectoliters per hectare) that give way to straight, vertical and mineral wines. 2014 is no exception, and it was also produced following the same procedure as previous vintage, fermentation in a 2,200-liter oak vat that was already eight-years-old and therefore quite neutral. The vat allows for a slow oxygenation, even if the wine is kept in contact with the lees until after malolactic (another peculiarity of this wine). This wine is always 100% malolactic. In 2014 for the first time Eulogio Pomares did not use any sulphur until bottling. After the first racking the wine is kept in contact with the fine lees before bottling. This has a very different profile, a little wild, full of character, very flinty, with a smoky touch (but not from the oak, from the lees and the sensation when you hit a flint stone with an iron). The profile is very sharp, austere, electric and focused, long and vertical, closer to a wine from Mosel to a Burgundy. This is a step up with a more clear mineral profile. Some might not like it; I love it. 2,600 bottles were filled in November 2015. Zárate is an old name in the Salnés that has come to the forefront in the last few years, given the quality and consistency of their wines. They work 6.54 hectares split into 11 plots in the parishes of Sisán and Padrenda of Meaño, that have for a long time being considered the cradle of Albariño." The Wine Advocate: 95 points

ZARATE is a family-owned estate of 6.54ha divided up into 11 plots located in Meaño, the heart of the Salnés Valley in the Rías Baixas appellation whose poor and well exposed soils are considered the cradle of the Albariño grape.
The main grape variety is Albariño; however they also grow the indigenous red varieties Caiño Tinto, Loureiro Tinto and Espadeiro.
The estate’s wine philosophy, which adheres to natural viticultural methods for its century-old vines, is that each plot, with the help of carefully controlled yields, should express the true character of its terroir and grape variety. Environmentally-friendly vine-growing methods are practised in the vineyards. Since 1994 all plots have had permanent natural cover crops growing between the rows and therefore no ploughing is done. No weedkillers are used either; and neither do they fertilise the soils with chemically-synthesised nutrients. In 2006 campaign they were granted Integrated Crop Production certification, which is a viticultural system that aims to produce a high quality crop, to ensure economically viable farming, to safeguard viticultural heritage and to protect the natural environment.
Yields obtained at the estate are 45 to 60hl/hectare, which are well below the Rías Baixas appellation Control Board’s permitted yield of 90hl/hectare.
The harvest is done manually, using small 16kg crates, preceded by numerous ripeness checks on the berries. The aim is to vinify only those bunches which are ripe and healthy.
Since the 2000 vintage, Eulogio Pomares, Zarate’s viticulturalist and winemaker, has devoted all his time and energies to looking after the estate’s vineyard and producing its Albariño.
 

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