2021 Rodrigo Mendez & Alberto Orte "Muti" Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain
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ABOUT THIS WINE
Muti Albariño was conceived as a tribute to Patrick Mata’s mother Christiane, with whom he spoke German at home – “Muti” means “Mom” in German. Made by Rodrigo Mendez and Patrick’s lifelong friend and co-founder of Olé, Alberto Orte, Muti is a classic expression of Salnes Albariño. Muti is sourced from three different sites. The first vineyard was planted in 1912, with granite soil, located in the town of Palina, just 30 meters (100 feet) from the Atlantic Ocean. The other vineyards were planted in 1972, located in the towns of Meaño and Dena. All in all, this classic Albarino showcases the classic terroir of Rías Baixas, with intensely maritime character, framed by salinity, flinty minerality and mouthwatering acidity.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Alberto Orte is a force to be reckoned with, producing truly compelling and ambitious wines that have firmly established him as one of the most talented up and comers of the next generation of Spanish winemakers. In addition to co-founding Olé & Obrigado, Alberto has also dedicated a huge portion of his life to discovering great terroirs, resurrecting ancient clones and replanting extinct grape varieties that would otherwise be lost to modernity. Alberto produces wine in many regions throughout the Iberian Peninsula, most notably in Jerez, Valdeorras and Rioja.
Alberto believes that low yields, balanced soils, and top-quality raw materials are three fundamental factors to creating terroir-reflective and balanced wines. He produces two types of wines: wines of unique terroirs, which are labeled as Alberto Orte, and wines from village- designated vineyards that are more approachable, which are labeled as Vinos Atlántico.
Born in Madrid to a winemaking family, Alberto Orte always took an interest in Spain, its natural resources, and its wine. As a teenager, Alberto would spend his days picking grapes with his cousins and working at his family’s winery in Montilla Moriles. After studying law at the University of Madrid, Alberto partnered with Patrick Mata at the young age of 24 to create Olé & Obrigado. Shortly thereafter, Alberto pursued a master’s degree in viticulture at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. While Patrick handles the marketing and business aspects of their business in the United States, Alberto keeps his roots in his native Spain, where he selects, vinifies, and produces an array of Spanish wines. Today, Alberto lives with his family in El Puerto de Santa Maria (Cadiz) in Jerez with his wife and six children.
A true farmer at heart, Alberto is fervently passionate about organic farming. He experiments with biodynamic principles in some of his vineyards, which unlike the surrounding land, flourish with worms, cover crops and other forms of life. Alberto’s main contribution to the world of Spanish wine is his revival of nearly extinct local varieties, showing the true potential of grapes like Tintilla and Vijiriega. In Jerez alone, Alberto has identified 200+ old clones and 22 forgotten varieties. Alberto also has a passion for old vines, as these plants tend to produce low yields of concentrated and thought-provoking fruit. When searching for sites to work with, Alberto favors high-altitude and dry-farmed vineyard plots with deep soils.
He uses native yeasts for fermentations and works with a variety of vessels (concrete, foudre, stainless steel and large format used wood) to vinify each of his wines, depending on the needs of the specific variety. While some wines are aged up to 8 years, like La Antigua Clásico Gran Reserva, some see 18 months or less. When working with grapes that are less tannic, Orte likes to work with cement tanks because they provide more structure on the mid palate. He incorporates newer oak with grapes that are more tannic, while favoring older oak barrels or cement for more delicate varietals.