Cíes Albariño

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Cíes Albariño is named after the Cíes Islands, an archipelago off the coast of Pontevedra in Galicia, Spain. It is one of winemaker Rodrigo Mendez's smallest production wines and showcases a traditional approach to Albariño from the Val do Salnés zone. Rodrigo's family has been producing wine in and around the village of Meaño for five generations. Cíes is fermented with indigenous yeast and partially aged in old wooden vessels without temperature control, reflecting how Albariño was made before the 1980s, when stainless steel technology became common. This traditional method is now rare in the region, but Rodrigo has revived it to create unique and ageworthy Albariño wines like Cíes.

Old vines dating back to 1954. 100% indigenous yeast fermentation. Half of the wine is fermented and aged without controlling the temperature in old wood vessels. The other half is fermented in stainless steel tank. This is a village wine from Meano, an area of 7 villages less than 1 km apart, within the Salnes subzone.

2023 95WA; 2022 94WA, 94TA; 2021 95WA; 2020 95WA; 2019 93WA; 2018 94WA, 91WE; 2017 93+WA, 92VFTC; 2016 94 W&S, 92WA

100% Albarino. Vines planted from 1954-1964. Tended in sandy and granite soil at sea level.

Cies shows clean acidity and a strong mineral character that together are a perfect match for shellfish, seafood and lighter salads. The length and acidity of this wine make it an excellent candidate for aging in the cellar.

Half the wine is oak aged for 12 months and half is aged in stainless steel tanks. The portion aged in oak goes through ageing (elevage) in two large 2,000 liter barrels. The wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation.

Cies is produced from grapes grown in three vineyards: two high on the slopes and one low in the valley floor. All three vineyards are located in Meano, within the the Val do Salnes subzone of DO Rías Baixas. Located in Spain's upper northwest corner, Rías Baixas sits just above the border of Portugal. The name "Rías Baixas" means "low estuaries," a reference to the area's many rivers that lead to the Atlantic Ocean. Of the three vineyards farmed to make Cies, we find predominantly two soil types, 75% granite and 25% dark soil. The landscape is low undulating hills and the vineyards are planted on the slopes and on the flat valley floors. This area's climatic conditions give this wine an “Atlantic” character. Of the 5 subzones in Rías Baixas, Val do Salnes is the coolest due to the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean. Yearly rainfall is above 1,700 millimeters (66 inches), or what one would expect in one of the wettest regions in Spain. The area is quite foggy with an average temperature from April-October of 63.4F.

Pale gold. Vibrant, mineral-accented aromas of orange, pear and honeysuckle, along with a spicy topnote that gains strength as the wine opens up. Lively and sharply focused on the palate, offering intense citrus and orchard fruit flavors underscored by chalky minerality. Finishes dry, nervy and impressively long, leaving resonating orange zest and floral qualities behind. -- Josh Raynolds



1.3 lbs (.59 kg)

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