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WINE OF THE WEEK: Mar de Frades Albariño Atlantico 2021, Rías Baixas, Spain

£16, Tesco

There are times when no other white wine seems to fit the mood more than a Galician Albariño. Now is one of them.

You can almost taste the salty sea spray and hear the Atlantic waves breaking as you sip Mar de Frades Albariño Atlantico. You can almost taste the granite soils that anchor the Albariño vines just a granite stone’s throw from the coast in the Salnés Valley. (I did say almost.)

It's everything Rías Baixas Albariño should be: intensely aromatic, vibrant and mouthwateringly mineral. Everything and more. The 2021 finesses it with succulent peach, pink grapefruit and apple fruit, gripping salinity and acidity – and texture, too, thanks to ageing on lees until bottling.

Winemaker Paula Fandino, who has been with the winery for 16 years, describes the 2021 vintage as "a return to the untamed Atlantic climate". I get the impression she likes that, despite the ever-present threat of mildew and other fungal diseases. In the end, the winery had its most abundant harvest, although the team went on to discard one in every six bunches of grapes.

There’s no way to drink this other than chilled, and just to make sure you get it right the label is thermochromatic. When the bottle is the right temperature, a little ship shows up above the ‘de’ of the name.

It’s hits the spot as an aperitif and with seafood and most other fish – anything from ceviche to Thai crab cakes, sea bass to anchovies, clams to a seafood platter or fish and chips. It’s also a handy tapas all rounder, good with salads such as Greek, Caesar or tomato and with salsa verde and green olive tapenade. 12.5%. Empty bottle weight: 538g.

Mar de Frades Albariño Atlantico 2021, Rías Baixas, Spain

£16, Tesco (255 stores)


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