Carballal 2020 'Cepas Vellas' Albariño, Rías Baixas, Spain
Winemaker: J. Vazquez Abal
Terroir: Limestone, Maritime Climate
Vinification: Stainless Steel
Aging: 4 months on lees ini steel
Tasting Note: Fresh-cut hay, ripe exotic fruit, white flowers, salty minerality, and ripe exotic fruit leap from the glass. A four-month aging period on fine lees adds a textural creaminess.
From our September 2021 Explorer Pack Bottle Club Notes:
Since the 1970s, when family patriarch Benito Vázquez planted his first two hectares of Albariño vines in the limestone-rich foothills of Monte Castrove, Carballal has been a mainstay in Ras Baixas's small subregion O Salnés. Albariño is the most popular grape variety in Galicia, aka Green Spain due to its verdant, Atlantic Ocean-influenced vegetation that sprawls inland from the coast.
Sustainability has been a cornerstone of Carballal's mission, and they are regarded as regional pioneers for employing methods now known to be extremely important to vineyard health, such as maintaining permanent cover crops between rows of vines, which is essential for the biodiversity of organically farmed vineyards. These plants, whether clover or wildflowers, encourage pollination as well as predator-prey relationships with local fauna like birds and useful insects like spiders and ladybugs. Pesticides and herbicides are therefore unneeded because the local ecology maintains itself. Cover crops enrich the soil as they decompose, and because the roots of wild grass grow deep, it is also an excellent carbon sink for removing CO2 from the atmosphere!Everything is hand-harvested from six-foot-high trellises before fermentation with ambient yeasts. Carballal was the first to introduce stainless steel fermenters to the region, improving the quality of Albario by reducing oxygen exposure and controlling temperatures during the winemaking process, allowing the wines' purity and brightness to shine through. Fresh-cut hay, ripe exotic fruit, white flowers, salty minerality, and ripe exotic fruit leap from the glass. A four-month aging period on fine lees adds a textural creaminess. We always say that what grows together, goes together, so when pairing foods, think of coastal Galicia: shellfish, empanadas, and octopus in paprika, garlic, and olive oil. —Cara Patricia