Bodegas Albamar

VISIT IMPORTER'S WEBSITE
Country of Origin: Spain
Location: Cambados, Rías Baixas
People: Alba Family, Owners | Xurxo Alba, Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Bodegas Albamar 2018 'Albamar' Albarino, Rias Biaxas DO Login WA 92+ In Stock
Bodegas Albamar 2017 'Fusco' Mencia, Ribeira Sacra DO Login WA 91 In Stock

If Sally sells seashells by the sea shore, Xurxo Alba of Albamar makes Albariño al alba del mar (next to the sea). If it were up to us, we'd stop right here. There's really not much more to say. It's what Xurxo was born to do. It's what he knows best. He is the personification of Albariño.

His cellar is in Cambados, next door to his parents' restaurant and tienda de ultramarinos, a small shop selling local artisan foods. His family has been farming and making Albariño in the O Salnés sub-region of Rías Baixas for generations. It wasn't until Xurxo finished his oenology studies that the Alba family started bottling and commercializing their wines in 2006.

The Alba family owns about 2.5 hectares but also sources from about 10 hectares spread throughout the region. Their winery and land is close to the Atlantic Ocean, near the mouth of the Umia River in the heart of Galicia's Rías Baixas. Xurxo wishes they owned more, but like their land, neighboring vineyards have been passed along from generation to generation. Working the land is a way of life; it's a hobby. It's what people do with their free time. It's a lifestyle in that money can't buy.

Xurxo farms and makes sure his farmers farm as naturally as possible, as much as the region permits. Being by the sea, the threat of fungal diseases like mildew and oidium is always present. In the cellar, spontaneous fermentation with native yeast is a common denominator between all of the wines. Whether he works the lees or uses oak is on a wine by wine basis, vintage by vintage.

Media Links
Spanish Wine Lover: Albamar Brings out the Freshness of Albariño
The New York Times: Your Next Lesson: Albariño

Social Media
Bodegas Albamar Flickr
Instagram: @albamarbodegas
Facebook: Bodegas Albamar
Twitter: @BodegasAlbamar

Wine Advocate 6/11/2020
"Most of the names that come to mind when we think of great Rías Baixas and great Albariño (but increasingly also red wines) originate in the Val do Salnés: Albamar, Do Ferreiro, Eulogio Pomares, Fulcro, Forjas del Salnés, Nanclares y Prieto, Narupa, Zárate… This is the zone with a true Atlantic/marine character and also the place with the most extreme fragmentation of the properties, with very small vineyards. 'Old-timers from Salnés never accepted the name Rías Baixas and didn’t agree about the other zones,' I was told more than once. 'They wanted to create an appellation for the Salnés rather than putting together different zones that don’t have that much in common. But Rías Baixas was created and that was that.' In 1988, when the appellation was created, there were three subzones; they added Soutomaior in October 1996, and then it was expanded again in May 2000 with the Ribeira do Ulla."


Wine Advocate 2/28/2019
"Xurxo Alba Padín is an explosion of energy and doesn't stop experimenting. He showed me a great unsulfured Albariño and a white made from red Caíño grapes. His 2017s are very classical, with less structure than the 2015s but very good freshness, fresher than the 2016s even though 2017 was a warmer vintage."


Wine Advocate 8/31/2017
"Xurxo Alba Padín from Albamar is expanding to other zones of Galicia, Valdeorras and Ribeira Sacra and has expanded his red range in Rías Baixas to the three varieties. The 2015 whites are phenomenal, especially my favorite, 69 Arrobas. I tasted with him and visited some of his vineyards. He is one of the guys to watch."

Reviews

  • Albamar 2017 'Fusco' Mencia, Ribeira Sacra DO
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 91 (2/28/2019)

    Mostly from the Chantada zone in Ribeira Sacra, the 2017 Fusco fermented destemmed in stainless steel and was bottled completely unoaked. It saw a maceration of 20 to 25 days and was bottled after it spent the winter in stainless steel. It's very pleasant, fresh and easy to drink, but it's not banal and is more about the granite soils than the variety—simple, transparent, straightforward. A degree more sophisticated and deep than the 2015.
  • Albamar 2018 'Albamar' Albarino, Rias Biaxas DO
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 92+ (6/11/2020)

    This comes from multiple small plots, some owned, some from grape growers, mostly on granite soils. The full clusters are pressed (but they are thinking about destemming to see if they preserve some more acidity), then they do a pied de cuve and use the indigenous yeasts. The juice is let to settle for a couple of days and after alcoholic fermentation they rack it and keep the wine with the fine lees for four to six months. The idea is that this wine, like most, doesn't do malolactic. 2018 is a vibrant vintage, it feels fresher, almost younger than the 2019, which gives me an idea of the long-term behavior of this 2018 in bottle. It's a little sharper, tasty and very saline, with a long finish.