Zárate Fontecón Tinto | 2020
You can’t talk about Rías Baixas without discussing Eulogio Pomares, the 7th generation helm of the ancient bodega, Zarate. Known for producing some of Spain’s longest lived white wines, made from ridiculously old vines of Albariño, Eulogio began his red wine project in 2009 in collaboration with his friend and fellow winemaker extraordinaire, Raúl Pérez. Prior to the wrath of the phylloxera in Galicia in the 1890s, red wines dominated the Salnés Valley, the classic cool subzone marked by its weathered granite soils. Now, Eulogio is bringing the tradition back by restoring old plots of the native Galicia red grapes: Espadeiro, Caiño Tinto, and the super rare, Loureiro Tinto.
Galician to-the-bone, the reds of Zarate are uber fresh with a sweet and stemmy crunchiness, reminiscent of an old-school Northern Rhône. Fontecón is the name of a vineyard, trenched in poor granite, and yields a blend of 70% Espadeiro and 30% Caiño Tinto. Fermented with whole bunches and aged for one year in third use 500L French barrels, the nose is buoyant with red and black fruits and a medley of bright spice. Cool on the palate, the wine glides, ever fine and silky. Low alcohol and totally crushable, Fontecón is still a serious wine, with impeccable pedigree and a terroir that rivals the best in Spain. ~AA
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