Today California girl goes to Spain for a study in Albariño. This white grape is primarily grown in Galicia, Spain, specifically the DO Rías Baixas. In fact, though the DO Rías Baixas allows for 12 different grape varieties, 90% of the wine region is planted to Albariño 99% of all wine produced is white. Ryas Baixas is known for its cool-climate in the northwestern side of Spain due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. And though these conditions are mostly ideal, the region is also prone to humid rainfalls which can lead to mold, mildew and other diseases. For this reason, many grape growers train their Albariño vines along a wire trellis called a “parra,” which reaches up to seven feet high and allow for wind circulation through the vines and berry clusters.
Fermentation, like most wines, varies between winemakers. Most will age Albariño on the lees, a few will even take the wine through malolactic fermentation. Barrel fermentation, while not unheard of, is, in general, is used sparingly.
There’s your Albariño 101. Now to the tasting…
About the Wine: Adegas Gran Vinum is solely focused on Albariño. The grapes for the Mar de Viñas Albariño were harvested from the Val do Salnés subregion of the D.O. Rías Baixas appellation. The grapes went through gentle pressing, keeping the grape skins intact. The juice was then filtered for 36 hours prior to fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
Flavor Profile: Pop the cork and you’re standing in a green apple orchard next to the sandy sea. Near clear on the pour, once in the glass the Adegas Gran Vinum Mar De Viñas 2015 Albariño shows just the slightest tint of yellowish tan. Inhale and enjoy the scent of those apples as well as their blossoms, with subtle hints of agave nectar. Swirl and sniff again, there’s a softness in the background like fresh baked pan dulce, most prominent when placing the nose at the top of the glass. Take a larger breath at the center of the glass and here you’ll find a thin layer of acidity outlining that delicate floral perfume.
On the palate the Albariño is light, bright with an initially smooth mouthfeel. About mid-palate the citrusy-acid hits along with some green-grassy notes. Again, there’s that background of fresh baked bread — so subtle, though, that you have to hunt for it, yet strong enough that it does give the wine its balance. At the end you’ll get a dose of lemon-lime citrus — it’s almost sour, but not quit — but the finish is reminiscent of 7-up.
This is just a super fun wine (yes, I literally wrote that in my tasting notes, next to a sketch of the sun…)
Food Pairing: I paired my Adegas Gran Vinum Mar De Viñas 2015 Albariño with grilled swordfish, coconut rice, and a mango salsa. Beautiful pairing — the citrus in the salsa (as well as the marinade on the fish) paralleled those citrusy notes in the wine. In so doing, it actually flattened out the texture a bit, alleviating some of that sour finish, and making the wine a bit more, shall we say, interesting. The light, refreshing quality of the wine did well to cut through the glutenous rice and the meaty texture of the fish.
More Info: This is my first experience with Adegas Gran Vinum and with Albariño in general. I received this bottle as a sample for review from Last Bottle Wines. (Cheers Mike!) Last Bottle Wines features daily deals on wines from around the world. To find out more, please visit the Last Bottle Wines website.
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