Two from Paco & Lola, an interesting modern Spanish cooperative
Paco & Lola is an interesting producer: old world doing new world (I know these distinctions are outdated now, but they still have a little utility). It’s a new co-op, founded in 2005, initially with a bunch of grape growers in O Salnés in Rías Baixas. They formed the Sociedad Cooperativa Vitivinícola Arousana, and it now has over 400 members, and is the largest cooperative in Rías Baixas. They source from just over 200 hectares, split into 1800 small plots. In addition to Albariño from Salnés they are now making a red from Navarra, under the label ‘Paco by Paco & Lola’, which indicates that they may have brought the grapes or wine in from outside their cooperative basis. The wines are really good, packaged in a modern way, and on sale in Tesco. I’d expect the £12 price tag to be a starting point: these look like they are priced so there could be some promotional price movement.
Co-ops are an important part of the wine ecosystem. I think they bridge the gap between scale of production and the modern retail scene, especially at the commodity end. Good co-ops can make really interesting wine, although there remain many horror shows.
Paco by Paco & Lola Garnacha Tempranillo 2019 Navarra, Spain
13.5% alcohol. From 25 year-old vines at 450 m on clay/stone soils. Five day cold soak. Low sulfites. This is supple, open and aromatic with lovely red cherry and strawberry fruit, as well as some redcurrant brightness. No heaviness or oak here: it’s just fresh, pure, vibrant fruit with a lovely juicy, herby twist. Massive drinkability. Almost Pinot Noir like in weight and structure, with nice elegance. 89/100 (£12 Tesco)
Paco & Lola Albariño 2019 Rías Baixas, Spain
13% alcohol. This is from Salnés. It’s fruity, bright and lively with some nice apricot and pear richness, offering lots of fruit, but pegged by assertive lemony acidity. It has plenty of character, with some generosity and richness to the fruit. Lovely balance here: a very stylish, commercially astute Albariño. 88/100 (£12 Tesco)
UK agent: Bibendum Wine