Monday, April 25, 2016

Spanish Wine: Vionta Albariño

The way American wine drinkers go after Chardonnay, that’s how Spanish consumers feel about the Albariño grape.  It’s the white wine of choice on that big chunk of the Iberian peninsula, and with good reason.  It’s fresh, aromatic and downright tasty.  Not to mention, it pairs well with just about any kind of food.

This Vionta white wine is all Albariño from the Rias Baixas area of Galicia in northwest Spain.  It’s imported by the Ferrer family under the Freixenet banner.  I was kindly provided a sample of this wine for the purpose of review.

The 2014 vintage was a little light, yielding small bunches of grapes in late September that were highly concentrated as a result, according to the winery.  They say the vines are mostly over 15 years old.  More than two-thirds of the harvest was vinified "on the lees," or in contact with the spent yeast cells, lending roundness and weight to the mouthfeel.  The alcohol clocks in at 12.7% abv and the wine retails for $15.

The wine has a beautiful golden tint and smells of green apples and lemon/lime with just a hint of flowers.  On the palate, the apple notes are crisp and laced with citrus. There is a salinity that runs through it right into the finish and a bracing acidity that really makes it a refreshing sip. Pair it with fish, hummus or crackers and blue cheese.  The salinity also hits well alongside sweet cheeses.