The Palacio de Fefinanes Estate
Founded in 1904, Palacio de Fefinanes is housed inside a spectacular baronial palace which sits on the lovely main square of coastal Cambados. The facility was built in 1647 by vicount of Fefiñanes Gonzalo Sarmiento Valladares (1583-1659) and is currently owned by Juan Gil Careaga. Palacio de Fefiñanes was the first producer to bottle wine under the D.O. Rías Baixas denomination. The label design dates from 1928 and shows an engraving of the Fefiñanes Palace.
The winemaker is Cristina Mantilla.
"Clean, mineral-laced Albariños from a producer housed in a baronial palace."
- Anthony Dias Blue's pocket guide to wine 2006
The Palacio de Fefinanes Vineyards
Produced in the Rias Baixas region, where the vineyards are quite windy due to the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean. It also provides acidity and freshness to the wine. The winery has only a token acreage, and buys its Albariño grapes from producers under long-term contract and with technical assistance from the winery's enologist. They make two 100% Albariño wines: Albariño de Fefiñanes, a young traditional style Rías Baixas white (30,000 bottles/year); and 1583 Albariño de Fefiñanes, aged six months in 600 liter sherry butts (4,000 bottles/year - annual production: 100,000 liters). Year after year, local critics rate Albariño de Fefiñanes as one of the best.
Fefinanes Albarino de 1583 Albarino is made from 100% Albarino.
Aged for 5 months in oak barrels (a combination of fine-grained American and French Allier barrels).
1583 is the birth date of the Viscount of Fefinanes, Gonzalo Sarmiento Valladares, builder of the Castle of Fefinanes, in Cambados.
They wanted to pay tribute to their ancestor with this wine that managed to reach a perfect harmony between the fruitiness of the Albarino grape and the complexity brought by the oak aging.
Lovely straw yellow color, clean and bright. The nose is reminiscent of ripe crystallized fruit and spices. The palate is elegant, round and well balanced, with a silky texture.
Excellent with shellfish, grilled or stewed fish, white meats, poultry.
Fefinanes Albarino de Albarino is 100 percent Albarino
Fresh fruit aromas of apricot and peach slices with notes of lemon and green apple. Pretty notes of honey and wet nutmeg, and the mouth is round, clean, and pleasant with baked apple, honey, and lemon.
This is a classic Albariño which is good young, but actually improves over two to three years and remains quite drinkable for up to five years. Owner Juan Gil comments that the wine really starts to come into its own in June/July, and he actually prefers it 18 or more months after it's made. A Fefiñanes "vertical" of three or four vintages can provide some most interesting surprises.
"One of those textbook Albariños that delivers the goods, year in, year out, this is a very pure expression of the grape, with no lees ageing at all. Sourced from vineyards in the Cambados sub-region, all on decomposed granite soils, it has lovely pear and lime zest flavours and engaging focus, minerality and stony freshness. Hard to beat at the price. 2022-26"
- Tim Atkin (Rias Baixas Special Report 2022), 93 pts
Palacio de Fefinanes Albarino "III Ano" is made from 100 percent Albarino
The III Año shows all the expressiveness of the Albariño grape, with full nose of mature fruit and a mineral character. Complex and meaty with firm structure in the mouth, it promises a splendid evolution which will favor a long life for this elegant wine with personality.
Aged for 3 years on the lees in stainless steel tanks.
Wine is aged for a total of 6 months: 4 months in French and American Oak barrels. No new oak, only 1, 2 and 3 year old barriques. During these 4 months, wine is aged on the fine lees with frequent Batonnage (stirring of the lees) in order to get the most expressive notes from the Albarino varietal. Then, it is transfered into a stainless steel tank, which allows the oak aromas to be assimilated and integrated.
1583 is the birth date of the Viscount of Fefinanes, Gonzalo Sarmiento Valladares, builder of the Castle of Fefinanes, in Cambados. They wanted to pay tribute to their ancestor with this wine that managed to reach a perfect harmony between the fruitiness of the Albarino grape and the complexity brought by the oak aging.
Excellent with shellfish, grilled or stewed fish, white meats, poultry
"It's almost a crime to drink this incredible wine young, such is its proven, almost Riesling-like ability to age in bottle. Bottled late after eight months on lees and a further two years in tank, it's a focused, structured, mineral-edged white with notes of citrus and blackcurrant leaf and a racy, stony finish. Val do Salnés Albariño at its chiselled best. 2022-32"
- Tim Atkin (Rias Baixas Special Report 2022), 97 pts
Prunotto Barbaresco is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
Prunotto’s Barbaresco is produced from vineyards in Treiso and Neive in the Barbaresco area, it’s the elegant expression of Nebbiolo. An aristocratic wine yet accessible and pleasant. It is aged in large oak barrels of varying capacities to enhance balance and softness on the palate.
Enticing aromas of violet and iris mingle with forest berry and crushed herb in this sleek, savory red. Smooth and elegantly structured, the bright palate shows juicy red cherry, blood orange and star anise alongside taut, polished tannins. It's already enjoyable but also has a youthful vibrance that will carry it for several years or more. Drink through 2027. -Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
Guillemot-Michel Vire Clesse (magnum) is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Beautifully expressive, with yellow fruits, orange blossom, smoke & flint. Thick and saline on entry, then seriously deep in the mid-palate, with suggestions of exotic fruits perfectly countered by strong minerality. This wine strikes a perfect balance between sweet and salty elements, and it shows vibrant acidity. It boasts a thickness that few other northern Mâconnais can match.
Enjoy with fish (such as sole meuniere), seafood, roasted chicken, goat cheese.
Notes of crisp green orchard fruit, oatmeal, clear honey, white flowers and mint introduce the 2019 Viré-Clessé Quintaine, a medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated wine that's deep and sapid, framed by lively acids and chalky structuring dry extract. If the 2018 is open and demonstrative, the 2019 is built to age and will really reward some patience.
- The Wine Advocate (Issue 249, June 30th 2020), 93+ pts