Bico Da Ran
Bico Da Ran
Fresh, aromatic everyday Albariño from the best vineyards near the Atlantic in Salnés
Pale yellow in colour, with a fresh, faintly tropical nose of melon, peach, green apple and citrus notes. Fresh and aromatic on the palate. A quality Albariño at a great price, ideal for everyday drinking.
White fish, Shellfish, Rice dishes, Spicy dishes, Salads
More about Bico Da Ran
Who makes it
Bico da Ran is made by Fento Wines, a brilliant winemaking project founded in 2012 by one of Galicia’s most respected enologists, Eulogio Pomares, and focused on the traditional grapes and wines of Rías Baixas. Eulogio has wine in his blood – his grandfather, Ernesto Zarate, founded the famous Galician winery Bodegas Zarate back in 1920, and Ernesto studied in Bordeaux and made wine in Germany - where he was looking at similarities between Albariño and Riesling – before he took over at the helm of Zarate in 2000.
At Fento, the team work with local Rías Baixas grape varieties and partner with local winemakers to ensure a sustainable, manageable approach which respects the local environment. Vines are located in the Val do Salnés and Condado de Tea sub-zones of the DO, and are planted in the xabre soil, formed of weathered, sandy granite, and trained above the ground on pergolas to ensure aeration and ward off the damp. All grape picking is done by hand, with a careful selection of fruit in the vineyard, and fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats.
About the grapes
Albariño is found in the northwest corner of Spain and in northern Portugal. There are a few vineyards in South Africa and Australia that are starting to produce it, but Galicia is very much its spiritual home. And within Galicia it’s most commonly found in the region of Rías Baixas, one of the region’s five official Denominaciones de Origen.
Galicia is green, cool and damp, which is a good thing because Albariño isn´t a big fan of the heat. It needs some sun, but it likes a cooler, more humid climate. Which is why Galicia, and particularly the region of the Rias Baixas, is a perfect home for the grape.
But too much humidity isn´t good either. So, you’ll often see Albariño vines trailed up on pergolas to raise them up off the ground. This has two advantages. It allows air to flow more freely amongst the vines, which prevents a build-up of stagnant humidity that can attract problems like mildew. And it also gives the vines, and the grapes in particular, more exposure to the sun.
In terms of the grape itself, Albariño produces quite a lot of sugars but it does retain its acidity which is what's so nice about this grape and the wines that it produces. Because you end up with a wine with lovely fresh fruit flavours and a crisp citrus undertone. On the nose you’ll often get floral aromas, often with a touch of honeysuckle. But that combines with a nice, clean citrus sensation and sometimes a light saline note to the wine. On the palate, you’ll often pick up lime, and other citrus flavours like grapefruit, but combined with softer, sweeter fruit like summer peach.
Combined with food, Albariño really comes into its own. It works beautifully with seafood and shellfish - clams, mussels, oysters if you can get them…they all make a perfect match for the grape. And if you’re getting an Albariño on the lees, then that extra body and complexity mean it will also pair nicely with slightly more robust dishes like fish, paella, and even white meats.
Where it's made
Rias Baixas is probably Galicia’s best-known Denominación de Origen. It’s located in the province of Pontevedra and part of southern Coruña in the south and west of Galicia, and it’s one of the five DOs that you’ll find in Galicia. The area is divided into five sub-zones - Val do Salnés, Condado do Tea, O Rosal, Ribeira do Ulla & Soutomaior – and is most famous for the white Albariño grape which makes up around 90% of plantings in the DO and which produces wonderfully crisp and fragrant white wines with plenty of acidity. In terms of wine growing Rias Baixas has around 4,000 hectares of vineyards which, when you consider that Spain has around 950k hectares of vineyards in total, makes Rías Baixas a very small region. And individual holdings are small as well - often no more than a hectare and split between 3 or 4 small plots. So, this is definitely a region of small producers.
The climate in Rias Baixas is cool and damp, with annual rainfall of up to 1300 mm a year. Now because of all that rain, you’ll often find vines being grown on pergolas to keep them higher off the ground. That gives them better aeration and helps to avoid fungal disease that is often a risk in damp climates.
How it's made
The grapes are selected from the best vineyards in Salnés – the lowest-lying sub-zone by the Atlantic in Cambados - and harvested early in the morning to retain freshness and aroma. The must is cold fermented using yeasts that enhance the primary aromas of the grape. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is cold stabilized and filtered before bottling to preserve aroma and freshness.