Friday, September 30, 2016

Spanish Wine: Albariño

The Spanish Albariño grape is the reigning king of varieties in the country’s Rias Baixas region. Related to the Alsatian Riesling grape, Albariño makes a white wine that usually offers a nice touch of sweetness amid a ton of citrus minerality.

The wine’s importer notes that Bodega Don Olegario was started some 60 years ago in the place that Albariño calls home.  Don Olegario is a 12-acre single vineyard with vines averaging 30-years of age growing in granitic, sandy soil that drains well. It is one of only a few single estates in Rías Baixas, where vineyard land is often divided among hundreds of growers. The growing is sustainable and harvesting is done by hand. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks.

The wine sells in most places online for under $20 and has a well-restrained alcohol content of only 13% abv.

This 2015 Albariño pours up pretty in the glass - yellow-gold and a touch of bubbles. The bubbly sensation doesn't last too long, but it's festive while it’s there. The nose brings some citrus - of course - and a smattering of stone fruit and ripe apples. In the mouth, the magic really begins. The acidity is razor-sharp and a complete delight. The bottle should come with a dozen oysters. Flavors of apples and Meyer lemons grace the palate and you simply don't run out of minerals. There's a lot to like here, and it lasts long beyond the sip.


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