Alanda Blanco is an estate-bottled wine made by Bodegas Quinta da Muradella in the Monterrei DO region. Just above the border of Portugal in northwest Spain, the region of Monterrei was part of an area whose rich geology was once prized by the Romans for mining, notably gold. Ancient findings have confirmed that the Romans are responsible for another of the area's treasures, vineyards. The word Al-Anda means “Get going!” or “Get moving!” in English. Alanda is the first of several wines made by winemaker and proprietor Jose Luis Mateo. All the grapes grown to make Alanda are certified organic. The philosophy is to make a young white wine that showcases the varieties that were planted across Monterrei's three different districts during the 1980's: Godello, Dona Blanca and Treixadura. At Quinta da Muradella, winemaker and proprietor Jose Luis and the highly respected Raul Perez, a consulting enologist, have done excellent work recuperating old vineyards and their efforts have earned accolades from wine publications including The Wine Advocate and Guia Peñin, the most influential and prestigious wine guide in Spain.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? Organic viticulture. Low production wine, i.e. less than 1,000 cases total production for the world, showcases the typical white varieties of Galicia: Godello, Treixadura and Doña Blanca. Superstar winemaker Raul Perez is a consultant on this project. Aged in stainless steel tank.
RATING HISTORY: 2015 93W&S "Year's Best Galician Wines"; 2014 93WA; 2013 92WA; 2012 91IWC; 2011 92IWC; 2009 91JR
GRAPE: 30% Dona Blanca, 30% Treixadura, 30% Verdello, 10% Monstruosa de Monterrei. Organically grown (certified). Vines planted from 1942 - 2002. Tended in slate, granite and clay soil from 360 - 700 m (1,181-2,296 ft) elevation
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: This wine has a freshness and acidity that make it a great match with shellfish, deep sea fish, and chicken dishes prepared with Spanish, Latin and Pan-Asian spices. This wine's easy drinking nature also makes it a natural for casual tapas, small plates and sipping on its own.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: Each grape variety is vinified separately in stainless steel tank. Fermentation occurs naturally utilizing indigenous yeasts that live on the skin of the grapes. The Treixadura portion of the blend macerates at cool temperature (39F) for 2 days.
PRODUCTION: 660 cases (6 pack)
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The vineyards are located in Zone 1, towards the interior of Galicia, by the Portuguese border. The Monterrei DO region is divided into two sections from north to south by the Tamega River. Doña Blanca has historically been felt by many to be a lowly grape with no quality potential, similar to Airen, but in the right wine growing and winemaking hands, it can produce startling wines of depth and complexity. Treixadura is a grape featured in many of the best wines from Rias Baixas. The vineyards farmed are 34 unique parcels. The soils are decomposed slate with granite and clay. These combine to contribute minerality, aromatic depth and volume on the palate. The climate is Atlantic (cold and wet) with a Continental influence (in general, extremely hot and dry summers with cold, dry winters). Monterrei is one of the DO regions within Galicia that is furthest from the Atlantic Ocean and its yearly rainfall is below average compared to other regions in Galicia. Average yearly rainfall for Monterrei is 23 inches; closer to the water in Rias Baixas the average is 93 inches.
TASTING NOTES: The nose shows no fruit, as if the wine was made of stones (and I like it!), serious and austere, still young and undeveloped. The medium-bodied palate fills your mouth and coats its inside with fennel and wet stone flavors and a clean thread of fine acidity that makes it intense and long. This is just plain great and should develop in bottle gaining in complexity and mellowing down. Super fresh and mineral, with very high potential. Bravo! At this quality, the price looks fantastic.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold