Since my first visit to Rías Baixas back in 2003 have consistently loved its Albariño wines. While some of the wines are definitely better than others, I can honestly say that I have never tasted a bad wine.
The Albariño grape is an easy grape variety to love. In my view it appeals both to the new or occasional wine drinker as much as it does to the exploring wine passionate.
For my readers new with Albariño, it is a white grape indigenous to Rías Baixas. Its taste and texture, is like a crossover between the crisp, refreshing acidity and citrus aromas of a Riesling, with the stony fruit aromas of a Pinot Grigio, and a florality element that brings to mind a Viognier. This is the reason that it is must white wine that you must drink in 2016. It has a bit of everything.
According to the producer, vintage and vineyard site, Albariño wines could be light to medium to full body. Most of them are made in the unoaked style, with some producers giving them oak aging and a new tendency is appearing to make orange wine from the grape.
For some time now Galician winemakers have been experimenting with storing their Albarinos underwater. This practice has many advantages such as absence of light, a constant cool temperature, high pressure, and the gentle rocking motion of the waves.You can see in the video above this practice. This crew of TVE interviewed famed flying Spanish winemaker back in 2010.
Albariño with fish and seafood are interwoven in the gastronomical culture of Spain have You wont go wrong if you serve Albariño with simple grilled or white fish, mussels shellfish, oysters and so on. It is also a good companion with Thai and Japanese cuisine. I also enjoy it with pastas in light cream sauce.
Here are some Albarinos from Rias Baixas that I tried in the latest La Grande Degustation back in November. The wines come from the portfolio of Selections Oeno which has some very interesting producers in their portfolio.
Genio y Figura 2014. D.O Rias Baixas. $21.90 CDN. Private Import. Selections Oeno
Very fresh nose. Simple but delicious minerality with peach undertones. On the mouth, medium body with a creamy texture and fresh acidity. Retronasal flavors remind me of dry chives, lemon zest and mountain herbs. The perfect wine for seared scallops and pasta. 93\100.
Xion Rias Baixas 2014. D.O Rias Baixas. $19.80 CDN. SAQ Code: 12485543.
On the nose, an emblematic that brings to mind white cranberries, plums with a hint of quince and green apple. On the mouth, very fresh with a marked minerality in the palate. Crisp with a fragant and aromatic finale. Must be lovely with jumbo prawns with fleur de sel. 93\100.
Attis Blanc 2014. D.O Rias Baixas. $21.90 CDN. Private Import. Selections Oeno
Lovely nose that brings to mind fresh nectarines and apricots as well an underlying minerality. On the mouth, medium body. fresh and balanced with delicate white flowers flavors. White licorice, jazmin leaves come to mind. 93\100. Will pair nicely with mild Thai seafood dishes.
Sittia Larantxa Orange wine 2014. Price: $29.25 CDN. Private Import. Selections Oeno.
Emblematic nose revealing honey with confit citric fruits. Floral nuances. Overall very perfumed. Exotic fruit aromas as well such as Papaya dessert. On the mouth, medium to full body. Fresh with earthy notes that bring to mind, earth and amber. Long aromatic finale. 90\100. To drink by its own or with the cheese course