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WINE OF THE WEEK: Mar de Frades Albariño 2019, Rías Baixas, Spain

£18.29–£18.95, NY Wines (Cambridge), The Great Wine Co

A chilled glass of Galician Albariño is the wine to have when you long to feel the sea spray on your face and the waves lapping round your feet – and you’ll know when this one is properly chilled because a small blue ship appears on the label just above the ‘de’ in the name (see photo below). It’s a wonderfully exhilarating Albariño with a textured palate, citrus zest, peach and grapefruit flavours, Atlantic salinity, oystershell minerality and reverberating acidity.

Mar de Frades winemaker Paula Fandino, one of the Rías Baixas region’s most experimental, describes 2019 as “an Atlantic vintage” – wetter, cooler, more typical and ultimately better than 2018. She also says the wine is still “a baby”, one which will get better over the next one to two years and can be drunk, as usual, into the fourth year after the harvest. I don't doubt her, but am too happy drinking it now to wait.

As for food: fish, fish and more fish – especially when simply prepared – anything from oysters, prawns and dressed crab to dab, sea bass or lightly smoked haddock. It goes well with vegetables too, especially asparagus. But then again, it doesn’t need food at all. 12.5%

Mar de Frades Albariño Atlántico 2019, Rías Baixas, Spain

£18.29, NY Wines of Cambridge; £18.95, or £17.05 for 12+, The Great Wine Co (formerly Great Western Wine)


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