2020 Manuel Moldes ‘Afelio’ Albariño
Manuel “Chico” Moldes is embracing the challenges of Galicia’s climate to make wines full of tension and excitement. They are some of the best Spanish wines we’ve come across this year.
Organic and biodynamic farming practice and hand-harvested.
Out of stock
During one of our many extraordinarily long vineyard tours, I asked Manuel Moldes who this we is that he keeps referring to since most of his narration was accompanied by this pronoun. “I don’t see anyone else when I visit your vineyards and cellar but you,” I explained. “Is there someone else we should meet that we haven’t yet?” His ever-present smile grows. A shrug of the shoulders. His loud laugh. “Para mí, el mundo del vino siempre ha sido familia” (For me, the world of wine has always been family.) And despite the appearance of a one-man show, his family and friends are, in fact, his anchor when the work is too great for him to do alone.
Chicho and the Rising Tide of the Rías Baixas
Manuel (his friends and family call him Chicho) is also an insider in a collective of inspired minds: a group of winegrowers, restaurant owners and sommeliers who converge on different meeting places throughout the Rías Baixas numerous times each month to drink, eat and share their ideas and experiences. The community of Rías Baixas has an easier connection to the outside world from tourism, access to the ocean and the larger cities compared to its neighboring Galician regions, great local restaurants that boast superb wine lists (with extremely fair prices) and nearly absurd quality of raw ingredients from both land and sea. All of these factors, combined with the open culture among its inhabitants have pushed it to the top of progressive Galician wine culture.
While only in his early forties, Manuel appears to be well on his way to Yoda status by age fifty, although his peers throughout the expansive underground Spanish wine scene think he’s already there. One of the brightest lights in the rising tide of the Rías Baixas, his inspired talent for wine feels innate. And though his aptitude for deeply technical wine analysis is finely tuned, it’s his curiosity and open mind that guide him.
A pleasantly refreshing light white wine. Most known from Rias Baixas in Spain, but additionally as Vinho Verde in Portugal. Albariño’s are generally high in acid with refreshing citrus fruit flavors and a notably saline mineral character due to the regions’ proximity to the ocean. Serve these wines well-chilled while eating fish tacos on a hot summer day, you won’t be disappointed.
Part of what can be referred to as “Green” Spain, Galicia is located in the upper north west corner of the country. Wine production here dates back to the time of the Romans. It is one of the coolest areas producing refreshingly crisp Albariño with strong mineral characteristics as well as elegant red wine from the Mencía grape. Galicia boasts five denominated wine regions (DOs) including the infamous Rías Baixas, the closest DO to the Atlantic ocean.