Bernabeleva Cantocuerdas Albillo 2016

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Robert Parker/Wine Advocate – It wants to show the character of Albillo Real in the village of San Martín de Valdeiglesias, where the old organically farmed vines from three different plots are located. The soils are granite-based. The three different vineyards were fermented separately with different maceration times, one of them with the full clusters. It then aged in used oak barrels for some nine months. One-third of the wine had contact with the skins, but today the nose was more reductive in a flinty, struck match way, with some lees. The palate revealed very good balance, with very fine tannins. Winemaker Marc Isart told me they are finally getting to understand Albillo, which behaves better in warmer years. I like the seriousness of this Albillo very much.

About This Wine

Like our amigo Alfredo Maestro in Ribera del Duero, Marc Isart is passionate about this re-emerging variety (whose history in the region may date back as far as the 8th century). Judging by the examples we have tasted, it's a passion well founded. Suffering the same fate of just about every other shy-bearing and characterful indigenous grape variety around the globe, the once prized Albillo has found itself sidelined in favour of more profitable, high yielding varieties. We've tasted enough now to suggest a comeback is long overdue. The wine comes entirely from 85-100 year-old vines growing in the granitic sands of the Cantocuerdas vineyard. There is 24 hours of skin contact and then vinification occurs in 2,500 litre foudre. There's pear, citrus and some blossom notes on the lifted aromatics and the palate offers both glycerol depth along with lots of racy, crunchy freshness as well. There's also a very subtle hint of grip and lots of energy and drive. As fascinating as it is delicious, this is a step up in class on the (very good) Navaherreros (blended cuvée). The review below belongs to the 2015 vintage, though is included here as we feel it offers a good insight to the general style of the wine. Worth noting perhaps that Albillo once played a role, similar to that of Viognier in Côte Rôtie, in Vega Sicilia's Unico blend. This shows what can be achieved when it stands alone.

Type White Wine
Varietal(s) Albillo Real
Country Spain
Region Madrid
Brand Bernabeleva
Vintage 2015

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