Albae Wine Club
Bodegas Barrero - Manzanilla Gabriela
Leave your work worries behind and pick up a glass of sun-kissed, salt-waved, breezy, fresh, flowery goodness. If you could bottle a picnic on the beach by the ocean, Manzanilla would be it. The strong flor (yeast) creates a fascinating and totally unique flavour profile. Bright floral aromas, especially chamomile, freshly baked bread, and almonds. On the palate, it is dry and even more delicate than a Fino, with citric notes, apples, yeasty notes, and a touch of saltiness.
One of the very few single-vineyard Manzanilla wines.
The Las Cañas vineyard in the Pago Balbaina Alta is amongst the three best Albariza terroirs (albariza is the bright white calcareous soil unique to the region).
The Albariza soils are the result of marine sediment turned to chalk from an ancient inland sea. Mixed with limestone and clay, the soil is so bright it's even visible from space. An advantage of Albariza is its ability to soak up water like a sponge, sustaining the vines during the hot summer months. The only other place in the world with a similar soil composition is Champagne in France.
Type: Manzanilla (White)
Grape Variety: 100% Palomino Fino from Pago Balbaina Alta, Las Cañas vineyard
Viticulture / Farming: Sustainable Farming
Viñedos Verticales - El Camaléon 2018
According to Vicente & Juan, El Camaleon is the "David Bowie" of their winery; it's subtle, elegant, intense, and provocative, all at once. Made with the extremely scarce Romé grape, the last indigenous red variety in Malaga, El Camaleon is very limited in production with only 2,300 bottles per season. Few hectares remain of these vines of which most are found in the mountains of La Axarquia.
El Camaleon takes its name from a peculiar quality of the Romé variety in which bunches of grapes on the same vine ripen at different rates; the different colours of the fruit look like the multi-hued skin of a Chameleon.
El Camaleon is medium violet in colour. On the nose, it's original and very nuanced with herbaceous aromas and notes of red fruit giving way to balsamic and mineral scents. On the palate, it's fresh and elegant, with a persistent finish.
Viñedos Verticales is a family endeavour started by Juan Muñoz, a 3rd generation winemaker, and Vicente Inat, a talented enologist with experience in several Spanish wine regions. The vineyards are located on the vertigo-inducing rocky inclines of Axarquia, Malaga, in view of the Mediterranean. The steep inclines of the vineyards have earned them the prestigious title of "Heroic Viticulture".
Their philosophy in winemaking is to work respectfully with the environment both in the vineyard and the winery. Tending to their vertical vineyards is labour intensive and results in small yields of high-quality wine with loads of character.
They work with old vines of Pedro Ximén, Doradilla, Garnacha, and Romé, but their crown jewel is the ancient Moscatel de Alexandria also known as Muscat of Malaga, one of the oldest remaining unmodified genetic lines of grapevine, originating from North Africa (Alexandria).
Annual Production: 2,300 bottles (The Club has access to 250 annually)
Palate: Dry & Fresh
Finish: Elegant & Persistent
Grape Variety: 100% Romé
Viticulture / Farming: Sustainable Farming - Terroir Driven
Arizcuren - Sologarnacha 2018
When Javier Arizcuren isn’t designing wineries for Rioja’s cutting-edge winemakers, he’s crafting some of the region's most expressive wines. As both an architect and a winemaker, Javier brings his discerning and creative mind into all of his work.
Solo Garnacha is naturally cold macerated in small stainless steel vats for about three days, and fermented in the same stainless steel open vats for about twelve days with daily gentle foot-treading. It went through the malolactic fermentation in used French-oak 400-litre barrels, with an ageing period of twelve months in the same barrels.
Think fruity aromas of juicy cherries and red plums, dark berries, mediterranean aromatic herbs, and some mineral, earthy notes.
In Javier’s own words:
“Garnacha was the most extended variety in la Rioja no more than forty years ago. But now it covers just about 10% of all Rioja's vineyard.
With this wine I want to show the beauty and qualities of this variety, especially in this very specific Rioja Terroir of the Northern slopes of the Sierra de Yerga, and therefore the suitability of the terroir to the Garnachas.
The grapes come from two of the few old vineyards of Garnacha left in the area."
Javier's urban winery/architectural studio is in downtown Logroño, the capital of La Rioja. Logroño traditionally had small wineries in many of its buildings, until a few decades ago. Javier’s is now the only urban winery in Logroño.
Annual Production: 2,450 bottles (The club has access to 130 annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Finish: Warm and lasting
Grape Variety: 100% Garnacha
Viticulture / Farming: Organic Farming - Terroir Driven