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6th August 2019 by Rachel Wallhouse
Here at The Whalley Wine Shop we are delighted to take any excuse to talk about wine, especially this wonderfully fragrant varietal, Albariño! It is such a perfect summer wine, and is asking to be drunk outside in the sun. We’ll talk through our recommendations and a brief history of the area. Sit back, grab a glass of Albariño and enjoy!
Galicia’s best-known wines are as far from the Spanish stereotype as it is possible to imagine: delicate, lively aromatic whites that go perfectly with shellfish (which is the standard Galician diet). It’s hard to believe but some of the bodegas make only a few hundred cases of wine a year; as most growers only have a few hectares of vines. This damp, green corner of Spain was until recently extremely poor and virtually ignored by the rest of the country. Now, it has a good reputation for making good quality white wines.
Rias Baixas is a region renowned for its Albariño wines, a varietal believed to have been introduced by Cistercian monks as early as the 12th century. Vineyards are found around the town of Cambados, on the shores of the Arousa estuary; a combination of alluvial soils, long dry summers, plentiful rainfall at other times of the year and cooling influences from the Atlantic Ocean mean grapes achieve the desired ripeness, but retain refreshing levels of acidity. The thick-skinned Albariño grape dominates here. Of all grapes it can best resist the mildew that persistently threatens the area.
Vines have traditionally been trained on pergolas, horizontal trellises well above light-dappled shoulder height. The widely spaced, spindly trunks are often trained up posts of granite, the common building material of this part of the world. For the thousands of small farmers who grow vines simply to make wine for themselves, this high canopy allows them to use every square foot of precious earth; their cabbages grow beneath. But it can also help ventilate the grapes, an important consideration where sea mists regularly invade the vineyards, even in summer.
We have 3 fantastic Albarinos on offer (until the 20th of August)
Pazo Torrado form part of the Terra de Asorei, a family of 8 growers in the Rias Baixas region. Vineyard cultivation spans 70 hectares and is focused entirely on Albariño production. Capacity can reach 1 million bottles a year; a medium sized producer where emphasis is very much on quality.
This 100% Albarino is one of the best Albarino’s we’ve ever tasted and at this price, a bargain! Imagine a mixture of white and yellow peaches fully ripe and aromatic mixed in with shavings of dried apricots and fresh pineapple, all sprinkled with zest lime juice. Then bottle it! It’s got fruit but also this amazing acidity that totally refreshes. The camellia flower on the label, symbolizes the freshness and floral beauty of this wonderful Albariño, with aromas of citrus and green apple.
The winemaking of Lagar de Cervera is complex. After manual harvesting and destemming, the grapes are macerated at cold temperatures for 10 hours, before being pressed and fermented in stainless steel. This vintage, 15% of the wine underwent malolactic conversion, and the wine was kept on lees for around six months with some lees stirring. These techniques all contribute to an impressive depth, complexity, and richness that balances well with the elegance and poise.
100% Albariño grapes from our vineyards in O Rosal and Cambados (D.O. Rias Baixas). Yellow with green hues; clean and bright. Ample, forthright nose, highlighted by the typical varietal aromas of the Albariño (ripe apples and pears, stone fruit, particularly apricots) and a remarkable citrus background. Lively fresh and structured in the mouth, with well integrated acidity. Very persistent aftertaste, where hints of exotic fruit (lychees) make their appearance.
Harvested grapes are destemmed and crushed, before going through pneumatic pressing. The must is decanted and the clean juice extracted and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then filtered, racked, stabilized, sterile filtered and bottled.
Follas Novas is an award winning wine at an award winning price. This wine is produced in Salnés Valley, the most famous region within Rias Baixas. The region runs along the Atlantic coast providing the minerality, saltiness, and crispness well appreciated in a white wine. It is medium bodied which has an unmistakable citrus flavour with a zing.
*Offers run until the 20th of August 2019
Why not come pay us a visit and we’ll be able to find your perfect tipple! Want to get in touch? We’d love to hear from you! Message us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.