A Spanish White Worth Searching Out

Bodegas Gerardo Mendez Albariño Rias Baixas Do Ferreiro Cepas Vellas 2006
James Molesworth
Posted: June 3, 2009

What makes wine so much fun is the diversity that now exists. The big-name wine regions or blue-chip varietals no longer have a monopoly on quality.

A case in point is this Spanish white—sourced from the Cepas Vellas vineyard, which claims 200-year-old vines. Those vines are planted on sandy, granite soils in an ocean-facing sub-valley of Rias Baixas, located in Spain's northwest corner.

Owner Gerardo Mendez ferments his grapes in stainless-steel vats, which would normally result in a crisp, lean style of white. But this wine manages to offer a mouth-filling richness, with notes of melon and citrus fruit. Then, Albariño's laser-like minerality kicks in, with mouthwatering brine and fleur de sel notes that ripple through the long, tangy finish. I gave it 90 points, non-blind.

With just 400 cases produced and a suggested retail price of $39, it'll take some conviction to find and pony up for a bottle. But if you're looking for a unique flavor profile, this wine offers just that.

WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Albariños from Spain, plus our quick list of Top Values among Spanish whites.

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