Bodegas La Val, Rías Baixas Albariño “Finca Arantai”
Bodegas La Val, Rías Baixas Albariño “Finca Arantai”

Bodegas La Val, Rías Baixas Albariño “Finca Arantai”

Galicia, Spain 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$33.00

Bodegas La Val, Rías Baixas Albariño “Finca Arantai”

The days are getting shorter and shorter, so it’s time to brighten everyone’s mood and everyone’s palate with an outrageously refreshing bolt of Albariño energy. Just a decade or so ago, only the most adventurous, dialed-in sommeliers and top Spanish restaurants had a section for Galician wines, and featured maybe one or two Albariños, but today you can find them at almost any local eatery or stepped-up seafood shack. It makes sense, as these wines offer immense pleasure to everyone from casual wine drinkers to geeked-out connoisseurs. Of course quality isn’t always consistent, but that’s why we taste dozens of bottles before finding something so spot-on compelling we have to share it with you. Enter “Finca Arantai,” a gorgeous, pitch-perfect rendition of Albariño at its finest. From a single vineyard perched just a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, this is exactly what you need to energize your holidays!

Albariño is grown throughout Galicia, aka “Green Spain,” but as we’ve preached on numerous occasions, the very best expressions are all found in vineyards growing very close to the Atlantic near the border with Portugal, near the ancient city of Pontevedra. This area is known as Rías Baixas, and it is divided into five subregions. “Finca Arantai” is located in the Condado de Tea, and sits right at the escarpment of the Rio de Miño, along the border between Spain and Portugal.

Although wine grapes have been growing in the Rías Baixas for centuries, it was only in the early 1980s that the region began to modernize its wine production, and they didn’t receive official DO recognition until 1988. It was during this exciting time of growth and innovation that José Limere Guille purchased a small vineyard near the town of O Rosal, and the Bodega La Val was born. In 1989 he planted another vineyard near the town of Arantai, and that is the source of “Finca Arantai.” With its location very close to the river, the vineyard is covered with small pebbles and gravel, sitting over top a bedrock made up of mostly granite and schist. It is one of the sunniest areas of Rías Baixas, and this allows the grapes to get perfectly ripe, but the influence of the river and the Atlantic Ocean—about 10 miles to the west—helps retain the classic Albariño backbone of refreshing acidity and saline minerality.

In order to ensure that “Finca Arantai” is a true representation of the very best Albariño, the team at Bodegas La Val makes several passes through the vineyard, and hand picks and sorts the grapes so that only most pristine fruit makes its way to the cellar. After a brief four to six hour maceration with the skins, the juice is pressed off and fermented with native yeasts in temperature controlled steel tanks. After fermentation is complete, the wine is aged in constant contact with its fine lees for six months. This adds both complexity and texture, and it also gives a hint of gold to the otherwise bright yellow-green color. Serve cool, at around 50 degrees, in an all-purpose stem and then buckle up for a ride through layers of nectarine, white peach, key lime, honeysuckle, raw almond, beeswax, and a touch of wild herbs and wet moss. Serve with any fresh or fried seafood, a local specialty is razor clams, so if you can find them use the recipe below and fry them up for a meal that will brighten even the darkest, longest days of winter. 

Bodegas La Val, Rías Baixas Albariño “Finca Arantai”

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