Albariño, Zarate 'Tras da Vina'
Subtly smoky with a deep solid feel due to long lees ageing. There's yellow earthiness, fatly ripe meyer lemons, lemongrass-lime, hay honeycomb and broader prickly pear fleshiness. Chablis-like in the mouth, it has lovely gentle roundness but great structure and acid line. Savoury, lush and deeply textural, the plush orchard fruits palate is softly spicy with a good chunk of mid-palate chew yet retains a good sense of granitic mineral and varietal acid freshness to finish.
The Zarate estate is an old one, founded in 1707, in the classic Val do Salnés zone. Formed by the lower reaches of the Umia River, its undulating slopes of weathered granite, soil, and cool climate make Val do Salnés the region’s greatest terroir and home to its longest-lived wines.
The range begins with the fresh, balanced and very mineral Zarate Albariño, sourced from estate vineyards averaging over 35 years of age in the parishes of Sisán and Padrenda in Val do Salnes’ central core. With wild-yeast fermentations and aging on the lees, this wine offers a character and vibrancy almost unique to the region.
In 1953 Ernesto Zárate initiated the Albariño Festival yet he withdrew his wine from the festival’s competition three years later having won first prize each year, vowing not to re-enter until another grower had matched his accomplishment. To this day, no one has.
Today, it is 7th generation Eulogio Pomares at the helm of this ancient bodega, and he is even more quality-driven than his predecessors. As he told Food & Wine’s Ray Isle, “the problem with Albariño is that the message has been 'drink young, drink young, drink early, drink young' for the last 20 years. But the best thing with Albariño is to make wines that last.” Through an estate blessed with old vines, great terroirs, and his own perfectionist approach, Pomares does just that, making Albariños that are not only the best white wines of Galicia, but potentially in all of Spain.