Columna Albarino 2020
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Made from 100% Albariño grapes tended in granite soil. The vineyards are located next to the Miño river in Galicia (North West of Spain) within the Condado de Tea subzone of Rias Baixas. Out of the 5 Subzones of Rias Baixas, Condado de Tea is the most southern subzone and furthest from the Atlantic Ocean. The North East of Spain is known for making the best white wines in the Iberian Peninsula. Out of the 200+ indigenous grapes found in this area, Albariño is the queen. She sustains the farmers of the region. Columna is a very unique expression of this queenly grape due to its southern and interior location – resulting in a style that is bright, floral mineral and at the same time rich. The vineyards that produce this outstanding expression of Albariño are tended in the local popular Emparrado trellis system, which was invented by the Romans during the 2nd century to maximize air circulation allowing for a better drier ripening season. The winemaker Rodri Mendez is no less than Raul Perez disciple and right hand man. In fact Columna is vinified in the same winery were Sketch (the under the water wine) is produced. The goal in producing Columna is to showcase the purity of the Albariño grape in a 100% unoaked style from a unique micro-clime that produces richer fuller often more balanced Albariño wines.
Named after the rías, or estuarine inlets, that flow as far as 20 miles inland, Rías Baixas is an Atlantic coastal region with a cool and wet maritime climate. The entire region claims soil based on granite bedrock, but the inlets create five subregions of slightly different growing environments for its prized white grape, Albariño.
Val do Salnés on the west coast is said to be the birthplace of Albariño; it is the coolest and wettest of all of the regions. Having been named as the original subregion, today it has the most area under vine and largest number of wineries.
Ribeira do Ulla in the north and inland along the Ulla River is the newest to be included. It is actually the birthplace of the Padrón pepper!
Soutomaior is the smallest region and is tucked up in the hills at the end of the inlet called Ria de Vigo. Its soils are light and sandy over granite.
O Rosal and Condado do Tea are the farthest south in Rías Baixas and their vineyards actually cover the northern slopes of the Miño River, facing the Vinho Verde region in Portugal on its southern bank.
Albariño gives this region its fame and covers 90% of the area under vine. Caiño blanco, Treixadura and Loureira as well as occasionally Torrontés and Godello are permitted in small amounts in blends with Albariño. Red grapes are not very popular but Mencía, Espadeiro and Caiño Tinto are permitted and grown.
Bright and aromatic with distinctive floral and fruity characteristics, Albariño has enjoyed a surge in popularity and an increase in plantings over the last couple of decades. Thick skins allow it to withstand the humid conditions of its homeland, Rías Baixas, Spain, free of malady, and produce a weighty but fresh white. Somm Secret—Albariño claims dual citizenship in Spain and Portugal. Under the name Alvarinho, it thrives in Portugal’s northwestern Vinho Verde region, which predictably, borders part of Spain’s Rías Baixas.