Rias Baixas Albarino Coaxes Summer to Stay
Audio issues at about the 5 minute mark…darn gremlins
With summer winding down, it was time to head to the cellar for something magical, something that could beckon the yellow orb to make an extended presence well into October. Rumor has it that there are magical powers in Rias Baixas. Each September the mythical creature Albariños stumbles from its cave, shaking off the prior evening’s rager to make a proclamation on the extended season. One wine glass, and the warm nights are cut short for crisp cool evenings. Two wine glasses (probably from seeing double), and the warm rays of the sun are enjoyed for six more weeks. With this in mind, I made careful preparations for the ritual.
Rias Baixas is in the Northwest portion of Spain and boasts a coastal lush growing area. The region, known as the wines of the sea, is moist and cool. Grapes are grown on a trellis to maximize the sun and air exposure. The grape Albariño, is the most widely planted in the region and is known for its Riesling and Viognier complexities. Albariño can be crisp, tropical, and full of citrus and apple, while providing a massive acidity that pairs well with the regional seafood.
I slowly peeled back the foil, in hopes to arouse the great Albariños from his slumber. As the cork popped, a fragrant citrus, apple, peach and pear aroma filled the room. The Albariños, enticed by the fragrance, restlessly stirred in his cave. The wine poured into the glass, and the creature awoke from his nap, rubbed his drunken eyes, and peered across the room. What did he see? Would there be six more weeks of summer? Would fall and frost come early?
- The Stuff: 100% Albariño from Rias Baixas, Spain; Whole berry crushed and fermented in stainless steel; 40% malolactic fermentation; 12.8%ABV
- The Swirl: A nice crisp and clean straw color in the glass.
- The Sniff: During a blind tasting I could potentially mistake this for a Riesling with the petrol, citrus and apple aromas. The fragrant aromas help drive the point home on the palate
- The Sip: Slightly tart, slightly crisp and slightly tropical describes the flavor profile on this wine. A very enjoyable flavor that has a slight steely minerality on the finish. A nice full mouth feel is present from the malolactic fermentation.
- The Score: At $12-15, this is a nice wine that leaves a feel good flavor in the mouth. Not a sipper for me, but definitely a fun wine to pair with light summer food and seafood. 3+/5 Recommend
- The Stuff: 100% Albariño from Rias Baixas, Spain; stainless steel fermented; 12.5% ABV
- The Swirl: Lightly golden in the glass, slight effervescence and mildly cloudy
- The Sniff: Soft and gentle on the nose with aromas of pear and peach
- The Sip: This wine is very even and smooth from front to back. It lacks the tart pucker of the first wine as well as lacks the acidity. Slight fruit components of pear, and tropical fruit. While this wine may be more enjoyable to many as a sipping wine, there was a lack of depth and character to really make me go “wow.” 3/5
Overall, very enjoyable wines for the price. Albariño is certainly a grape you should keep your eye out for, especially if you’re looking for a fun alternative to your daily Sauvignon Blanc or Viognier. Keep poppin’ the corks on summer sippers in the hopes to lure the yellow orb to the sky!
*Wine was provided as an industry sample with the intention to review