The 2018 Benito Santos Saiar Albarino is about as good as it gets when it comes to this Spanish specialty. From one of “Founding Fathers” of Albarino and the Rias Baixas D.O., this is so unbelievably delicious.
Possessing notes found in wines like Sancerre, Chablis, Muscadet and Dry Riesling, this is the way Albarino is supposed to taste. Salty, mineralic, lively and concentrated, we are offering this one up at one of the best prices in the country.
2018 Benito Santos Saiar Albarino
“One of the best Albarinos I’ve ever tasted.” Josh Spurling
Benito Santos is one of the most important figures in the history of Albarino and the Rias Baixas D.O. He began working in his grandfather’s vineyards in the 1930’s, making wine to serve at his bar. And his wines consistently won prizes in the annual Fiesta de Albariño in Cambados. Towards the end of his life in the 1980’s, he was essential in the creation of the Rias Baixas D.O. in Northwestern Spain.
San Franciscan Todd Blomberg, who worked with Benito for several year, took over the estate after Mr. Santo passed away. Todd is firmly committed to organic farming and minimal intervention production of his wines. As Albarino has grown in popularity, many producers have taken the path of making highly commercial, heavily manipulated wines. In particular, many producers use specific yeasts to get more tropical, fruity aromas and flavors. Not Todd! He harvests by hand, he ferments with native yeasts and he bottles with minimal sulfur. And this is all in an attempt to let the wine taste like Albarino and express the terroir of the site.
Today, Todd farms three vineyards in the Val do Salnes subzone of Rias Baixas, each of which is next to and named after an ancient church. His Saiar bottling is fermented in tank and aged on the lees a few months before bottling. Right out of the gate and upon first sniff, you can detect this is a special wine. Soaring notes of mineral-accented citrus and orchard fruits combine with lovely aromas of jasmine and green tea on the nose. And the palate is equally stunning. Super-lively, concentrated and sharply focused with Meyer lemon, pear, quinine, peach skin, and wet rock, the finish is long and very satisfying.
This is special wine my friends. And it’s one I recommend not serving too ice cold as it struts its stuff best just below cellar temperature. Enjoy this gorgeous Albarino with a fresh goat cheese, ceviche, sushi, or grilled fish.
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