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Zarate Albariño Rias Baixas '22
Bodegas Zarate is a producer who has pioneered high-quality Albariño in Rías Baixas since the mid-20th century. Today, seventh-generation Eulogio Pomares is at the helm of this ancient bodega, and he is even more quality-driven than his predecessors. Working with old vines and great terroirs, he makes Albariños that are among the best white wines of Galicia.
The Zarate estate was founded in 1707, in the classic Val do Salnés zone. Formed by the lower reaches of the Umia River, its undulating slopes of Xabre—weathered granite—soil, and cool climate make Val do Salnés the region’s greatest terroir and home to its longest-lived wines.
Here Pomares farms Rías Baixas’ oldest documented Albariño vineyard—the pre-phylloxera El Palomar, planted in 1850—and a host of other top sites. Even the wines from Zarate’s younger plantings boast uncommon depth, richness, and age worthiness, thanks to the estate’s great terroirs and Eulogio’s uncompromising methods.
Pomares’s farming is almost fully biodynamic—he works the soil manually, uses cover crops for genetic diversity and makes his own biodynamic teas for vine and soil treatments. This approach is particularly notable given that he is working in Spain’s coolest and wettest winegrowing region. All new plantings are massale selections from the estate’s oldest vines.
The Zarate Albariño is the entry point to the estate’s range, sourced from estate vineyards averaging over 35 years of age in the parishes of Sisán and Padrenda, in Val do Salnes’s central core. With wild-yeast fermentations and aging on the lees, this wine offers a character and vibrancy almost unique to the region. (Background info courtesy of the importer Rare Wine Co.)
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