The Dandelion, or:

The Dandelion, or:
 
How I Learned to Stop Drinking Chablis and Self-Electrify via the Albariños of Nanclares y Prieto. 


Alberto Nanclares y Silvia Prieto

2020 Nanclares y Prieto
"Dandelion" Albariño 


Only $27.50. Buy here!


TL; DR: Granite-driven, sea-flecked, stony laser beam in a bottle, anyone?  Taste the Albariño that pioneered organic farming in the region, overturned the dogma that acid was to be feared, and that one critic called "the most beautiful, mineral, and elegant wines made from Albariño in the world."



It's the same old story: respected University of Madrid economist chucks his textbooks out the window (ouch!), leaves his Basque Country homeland, hightails it to Galicia to spend more time in his sailboat, makes the mistake of buying a farmhouse with a vineyard behind it and — bam! — next thing you know he's the region's pioneer of organic farming and an international superstar to boot.

 Okay, so that video may have been on fast-forward a bit... but it's all true! It is the vinous world's great fortune that Alberto Nanclares left his cushy position as a number-slinger behind, and moved to Rías Baixas (pron: REE-ahs BI-shas).  Initially he worked with a consultant, who gave him the region's standard twin party lines: 1) it's too humid here, you'd be crazy to farm organically! and 2) Albariño's too nervy, you'd be crazy not to de-acidify the wine!

Well, guess what: the guy who walked away from his cushy job and bought a dilapidated farmhouse to sail from was precisely that crazy. He's now been farming organically since the late 90’s, a feat many believed to be impossible given the wet conditions of Rias Baixas (where growth is vigorous and disease pressure is high). Jettisoning local dogma, he and his partner Silvia Prieto practice a philosophy they call "Maximum respect for the vines... and minimal intervention in the cellar." They treat the vineyard soils with a combination of seaweed and decomposed grape must, and refuse to change the wine's "self" in the cellar (by adding things or taking them away). It's all earned him a massive following in the natural wine world, even though this attention was never something he’d sought. 

Alberto, harvesting seaweed for his vineyards

Cool, cool — but how's the juice? Well, how do you feel about
granite-driven, sea-inflected, stony laser beams in a bottle? (One wine writer said, "In my opinion, Nanclares and Prieto create the most beautiful, mineral and elegant wines made from Albariño in the world.") While other winemakers in the region de-acidify their Albariños, Alberto and Silvia go the other way: they lean into the acid, and embrace it for all of its life-infusing laser power. The result? A bright and vibrant energy that seems as incontinent as it does life-affirming. Their 2020 Dandelion is 100% Albariño, naturally fermented and aged on lees for 7 months (for a little bit of texture). The wine's alive, saline, snappy and scrumptious; think lime zest, sea salt, wet white stones, and Asian pear.



The Nanclares y Prieto Dandelion absolutely holds its own for steeliness and verve with anything you can find from Chablis, and strikes us as a freaky deal at its sub-$30 price; get it while we have some to get got!

2020 Nanclares y Prieto
"Dandelion" Albariño 


Only $27.50. Buy here!
(Very limited!)