Monday, May 29, 2017

The Spanish Refresher

Albariño is a grape of Spanish origin, and in the Rias Baixas region of northwest Spain it is pretty much king. Ninety percent of all the wine made in the area is Albariño.

Kobrand, the U.S. importer of Don Olegario Albariño, writes that Olegario is an "artisanal winery begun in the 1950s by Adolfo Falcón," and it's still a family affair. In the 1980s, Adolfo's son Olegario pushed the bodega to its present status as a top producer of Albariño. His five offspring now run things, with Roberto Carlos Falcón handling winemaking duties, while Fernando grows the grapes. María, Vanessa and Mónica are also involved in the day-to-day operation.

This wine has served up as one of the more enjoyable whites I drink all year for several vintages now. This reliable wine is tasty vintage after vintage. The 13% abv alcohol number makes for a light and easy sip, but it’s no pushover. The thread that runs through each vintage is that of minerality and acidity, so bring on the oysters.

The 2016 is pale gold and fresh-smelling. Green apple and lemon aromas are braced by a strident minerality. Those minerals really come forward on the palate, as do the apple and citrus flavors. The wine is ever so slightly frizzante in the glass, and the acidity rips across the taste buds.

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