La Marea Kristy Vineyard Albarino 2018
Bright, fresh and crisp with notes of lemon curd and tangerine. On the palate it shows elegant texture and bright acidity on the finish. The Kristy Vineyard grows on the western bench over the Salinas River on the broken sediment of ancient sea beds where it is exposed to the consistent cooling winds off the Monterey Bay. Kristy is a special because Albariño in the vineyard reaches full phenological ripeness at low potential alcohol and bright natural acidity later in the season.
Pairs well with oysters, grilled fish, and spicy cuisines.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Apple-blossom, chilled pear and crisp peach-flesh aromas show on this sleek and fresh bottling. There is ample tension on the palate, where citrusy flavors of lemon, lime and yellow grapefruit prove refreshing
La Marea means ‘the tide’ and Ian and Heather Brands’ La Marea label is a meditation on change and constancy, the pendular swings of culture and winemaking styles, the constancy of the ocean and the tide, the slow tectonic shift that raised the seafloor and brought plows to that earth and grapes from the other side of the world. As Monterey was once the capital of Alta California, and the bright California sun has much more in common with the Iberian peninsula than continental Europe, La Marea focuses on grapes of Spanish origin in the salty, rocky greater Monterey Bay region.
Ian and Heather Brand began their family winery with pennies and a dream in 2007 while working in the cellars, vineyards and management of other wineries. In 2008, they moved to Salinas in Monterey County so Ian could focus on the winery while consulting, hustling and doing whatever work came his way. In 2010 they leased out half of an existing winery. In 2013 they built out their own production space in the industrial district of Salinas. They’ve expanded the space twice since then. Along the way, they’ve uncovered potential in regions and vineyards largely forgotten by the greater wine industry, grown fruitful relationships with local growers (while working tirelessly to promote low input and organic viticulture), and developed a winemaking style suited to the rocky, windswept Monterey Coast. In 2018, Ian was named the San Francisco Chronicle Winemaker of the Year.
A geographic and climatic paradise for grape vines, Monterey is a part of the greater Central Coast AVA and contains within it five smaller sub-appellations, including Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, San Bernabe, Hames Valley and the famous Santa Lucia Highlands. The climate is relatively warm but tempered by cool, coastal winds, allowing the regions in Monterey County an exceptionally long growing season. Bud break often happens two weeks sooner and harvest tends to be two weeks later compared to other surrounding regions.
Monterey’s coastal side, where the cooling ocean fog allows grapes to develop a perfect sugar-acid balance, excels in the production of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Warmer, inland subzones are home to fleshy, concentrated and full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.
Chardonnay, covering about 40% of vineyard acreage, is the most widely planted grape in all of Monterey County.
Bright and aromatic with distinctive floral and fruity characteristics, Albariño has enjoyed a surge in popularity and an increase in plantings over the last couple of decades. Thick skins allow it to withstand the humid conditions of its homeland, Rías Baixas, Spain, free of malady, and produce a weighty but fresh white. Somm Secret—Albariño claims dual citizenship in Spain and Portugal. Under the name Alvarinho, it thrives in Portugal’s northwestern Vinho Verde region, which predictably, borders part of Spain’s Rías Baixas.