The result of terroir and the saline winds: Mar de Frades Albariño Atlantico

Tasting Note

Do all Albariño wines smell and taste alike? Not really, although many tasters would emphasise the citrus zest, slightly salty, mineral characteristics of Albariños, and their typical acidity. Albariño is also considered quite aromatic. 

The Albariño of Mar de Frades transmits all the aroma qualities of the Albariño variety: the white flowers, yellow grapefruit, nectarine, some orange peel and exotic fruits, such as lychee and lime. Yet, what stands out here is its subtle, delicate smell. A light flowery, citrus scent that captivates the nose of the beholder.

The Mar de Frades (which translates as a sea of friars) Albariño originates in the vineyards of Valiñas Finca, located to the south of Mount Valiñas in the Salnés Valley. The vines are trained on trellises to decrease the influence of soil humidity on the grapes. The soil is mostly sandy, decomposed granite. Granite gives the wine a mineral touch.

The harvest is done manually, following a strict selection process. After a 10 to 20 hours maceration and light pressing the grapes are fermented slowly, at controlled temperatures.

The salty winds coming off the nearby Atlantic ocean give Mar de Frades a saline touch you can taste so well in the 2019 vintage. 2019 is called “the Atlantic vintage” because it was cooler and wetter than usual.

While tasting you notice the care and preciseness of Mar de Frades’ winemaker Paula Fandino on the palate. Very good balance, crediting both terroir and fruit influences. Elegant and delicate finish. Almost like a pleasant sea breeze with a scent of fruit passing by in your mouth.

No wonder the wine goes so well with all kinds of sea fruits, oysters, prawns, crab, white fish, and Asian food, but also a light green vegetable salad with some asparagus. We paired the wine with mezze, or tapas, a selection of small Meditteranean dishes served as appetizers. One can truly say a winning combination.

Wine Info

Style – Light to medium bodied white

Grape varieties –Albariño

Vintage – 2019

Country – Spain

Appellation – D.O. Rías Baixas 

Region – Galicia

Producent – Mar de Frades

Winemaker – Paula Fandino

Alcohol – 12,5%

Vineyards – Valiñas Finca

Ageing potential – drink young, but can also age 2 to 4 years

Serving temperature – 8º to 10º

Score – 90 points

Remarkable – The bottle is printed with heat-sensitive ink.  When the serving temperature is right around 10° to 11 ° C, a blue ship appears on the waves of the logo.