Trousseau Sud: 2013 Algueira Merenzao

Posted by Joe Salamone

Algueira looks at the history of Ribeira Sacra with an unflinching gaze.

Obscure indigenous grapes, like Merenzao and Brancellao, get star billing here. Although these grapes have virtually no name recognition and even knowing how to pronounce them requires some imagination, they're still handled with the utmost care. Foot stomping and biodynamic viticulture are integral parts of Algueira's meticulous approach.

The results are hauntingly impressive. Algueira is without a doubt one of Ribeira Sacra's best. Beyond Rioja and sherry, we don't focus on Spain all that much. However, Ribeira Sacra has captured our attention in a way that almost no other place in Spain has. The wines have a fascinating lift and clarity. Algueira is tops in this category.

Some of you may remember our offer on Algueira's Brancellao from last November. We continue to hear back from customers about how much they like the wine. There's undeniable beauty here.

In the Jura, Merenzao is known as Trousseau. In Ribeira Sacra and in Algueira's hands, Merenzao offers the spice, floral notes and dancing transparency that we've come to expect from how the grape expresses itself in the Jura. Expect a little more density and power here.

When you see pictures of Ribeira Sacra, which is located in Northwestern Spain, its potential is obvious. Ribeira Sacra is home to ridiculously steep, terraced schist vineyards. The common and very apt comparison is with Côte-Rôtie in the Northern Rhône. John Gilman recently wrote that Galicia, the larger area that Ribeira Sacra is a part of, "must be one of the greatest (relatively) unknown wine regions in the world today." He goes so far as to call it "The Burgundy of Spain."

Algueira's Merenzao comes from 80 year old vines and the way in which they pamper them becomes clear. The Merenzao possesses a striking clarity and silky texture. In a recent tasting of a table full of wines, it jumped out. The glass explodes with complex and well defined notes of herbs, high-toned red fruits, flowers and spices with a pronounced underlying minerality.

The Merenzao stands out as the most memorable Spanish wine we've tasted in quite some time. I strongly advise you to check it out.

To order, email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer

Crush Wine & Spirits