Enjoying Albarino: Spain's Most Popular White Wine

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  • By by Kevin Lepisto
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Enjoying Albarino:  Spain's Most Popular White Wine

There are few summer wines as refreshing and thirst-quenching as the crisp white Albarino from northwest Spain.

Albariño is Spain’s popular, refreshing white wine, produced in the Galicia region in northwestern Spain, just north of Portugal.  It is cool and rainy and much different than the hot, almost desert-like Spain we all are familiar with.   This area is known as “green Spain” and is rich with lush vegetation, green forests and rivers. 

 

Albariño is a highly aromatic, crisp and fresh medium-bodied wine that is amazing with a wide variety of foods.  The cool, damp weather in the Rias Baixas region ensures that the early ripening grape retains its vibrant acidity and intense aromatics.  Classic Albariños will have aromas of white flowers, peaches and lemongrass and flavors of zesty citrus and ripe stone fruits.  Great Albariños will have palate cleansing acidity and an intense vein of minerality that reminds you the ocean isn’t too far away.

 

Albariño screams for seafood but has the backbone to pair with a wide variety of foods.  I’ve had Albariño with spicy paella and it was a match made in heaven!

 

2013 Paco & Lola  “Lolo” Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain

Paco & Lola is a young modern winery started in 2005 by a cooperative of Rias Baixas growers.  They produce several styles of Albarino wines and their ‘Lolo” wine is just what you should expect from a great Albariño.  ‘Lolo’ is a medium bodied, fresh wine, striking the perfect balance between ripe stone fruits and crisp green apples with hints of aromatic herbs in the background. The long persistent finish leaves you begging for another sip!   

$14.99 per bottle

 

2015 Morgadío Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain

A great wine from a classic estate in the Rias Baixas.  Refreshing and juicy with crisp flavors of grapefruit and lemon.  Minerality and acidity give the wine great focus on the palate. Morgadío is the easternmost inland estate in Rías Baixas giving the wine a little more softness and lush fruit.  Albariño’s rise to one of the wine world’s great white varietals is due in large part to work done at this estate from the mid ’80s to the mid ’90s to help promote the wine and this small wine region.

$18.99 per bottle

 

2016 Carballal “Sete Cepas” Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain

The 7 wine, as we call it, has been one of our best sellers for several years and when you taste is you’ll see why.  The aromas are flowery with notes of green apple and citrus.  The flavor is concentrated with lemon zest, pomme and tropical fruits. The finish is long and persistent. It’s elegant and well textured with just the right amount of acidity.  Sete or 7 Cepas is a playful nod to the fact that there are seven brothers in the family that make this wine.

$13.99 per bottle

 

2015 Pazo Cilleiro Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain

This is the 2nd vintage from this new project by the Rioja wine group Bodegas Muriel and they produced a hit!  Their albariño has all the classic flowery and peach aromas and bold citrus and stone fruit flavors, but this wine has the weight, layers and texture of a much more expensive wine. It’s smooth and extremely well balanced and refreshingly quaffable.   A steal at this price.

$14.99 per bottle

 

Albariño do Ferreiro, Rias Baixas, Spain

Gerardo Mendes’ old vine Albariño wine is a special treat.  This wine is extremely crisp and dry with zesty lemon and lime fruit and herbal undertones.  The granite soils and close proximity of the vines to the Atlantic Ocean give the wine great salty minerality and lip smacking acidity.  This wine begs for seafood. Bring on the clams!

$25.99 per bottle

 

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