We are finally starting to see the emergence of unfortified white wines from the heart of Sherry country. In a place that is VERY traditional, the movement has been met with heavy skepticism.
The Mayetería Sanluqueña is a group of five, young winemakers who’s intention is to re-discover their beloved region through terroir-driven unfortified white wines.
We are proud to introduce for the first time ever the wines of Rafael Rodríguez and is winery, Barrialto. Rafa, as he is called, comes from a family history in wine. His grandfather was an almacenista. In 2009 he began to work in wine, and by 2016 had joined the Mayatería Sanluqueña. His first vintage was 2018, and this wine from the 2019 vintage is the first commercial release of his wines in the United States.
Rafa produces two wines. Today’s feature, “Barrialto Aranzá is produced from a small part of a three-hectare, 60-year-old palomino vineyard called La Palma in the Pago Balbaína Baja. The limestone-rich albariza soils in this part of the vineyard are pure tosca cerrada, which Rafa prefers. He says wines coming from this soil have a certain “magnetism,” resulting in naturally balanced wines. Aranzá refers to the traditional agricultural measurement in the area of half a hectare or one Aranzá that the wine is produced from.
Hand-harvested palomino grapes are de-stemmed and pressed, followed by spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts from the vineyard without temperature control in 500L ex-Manzanilla casks. After fermentation, it rests for two months on the fine lees in the same barrels before being racked into a stainless steel tank for six months before bottling unfined, with only a light paper filtration and minimal additional sulfur used before bottling.”
PLEASE NOTE - this white wine will be unlike any other white wine you have ever had. That’s because this is almost a brand new category of wine. The singular nature of Sherry country, the grape Palomino, and the environment in both the vineyard and winery is truly its own thing.
The nose truly leaps out of the glass. A true iodine bath, imagine a deep shellfish stock reduction, along with hints of lemon and toasted hazelnut. In the mouth it is bright, with plenty of orange and lemon citrus notes, lots of mineral, and a long, beautiful finish.
Do yourself a favor, grill up some langoustines, put them in a bowl with some top quality olive oil and some flakes of sea salt, and pair with a glass of Barrialto Aranzá. You will be transported to Sanlúcar!
Only 1750 bottles of this wine was produced, so you are truly among the first to taste it…anywhere!
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