Albariño is rising

Albariño grape cluster
Albariño grape cluster – delicious and crisp white wine grapes

The Great Albariño Taste-Off

Albariño wine is on the rise. Albariño is a white wine, most popular in Northern Spain. Once hard to find in our local area, it is rapidly gaining favor and now found in most wine shops and stores. It is an excellent option instead of the usual fare of white wines we all enjoy. Which Albariño wine should you purchase?

With that in mind, the Vintage Wine Club blind-tasted Albariño wines. Joe Fama took to the wine shops and sampled several Albariño wines from Spain, Portugal, and California. Joe selected six for the blind taste-off. We liked all the wines in the tasting, but one was a sure winner among all of us. These are the wines we tasted and the order in which we ranked them.

  1. Soalheiro Alvarinho 2018 – $24.99 Weimax Wines in Burlingame
  2. Turonia 2017 – $19.99 Weimax Wines
  3. Pazo de Senorans 2017 – $19.99 KL Wines
  4. Condes de Albarei 2017 – $19.98 BevMo in San Bruno
  5. Albamar 2017 – $24 Vineyard Gate in Millbrae
  6. Hendry Napa Valley – $19.99 KL Wines

The Spanish call the wine Albariño, and the Portuguese call it Alvarinho. Spain’s Rias Baixas region is the center of the Albariño grape, with 7000 acres planted. In this case, Spain will have to take a back seat to our overwhelming first pick, the Soalheiro Alvarinho 2018. Each of our members picked this wine above the rest.

Soalheiro Alvarinho 2018 has a terrific aroma, great flavors and a strong finish. It is delicious, refreshing and thrilling. Even though the wine is more than our $20 cutoff, it is worth a try. Weimax Wines in Burlingame is the only wine shop that carries this Albariño in the Bay Area.

Any of the other Albariño wines on our taste list is worthy of a purchase. If you cannot find them locally, you should have plenty of other choices to sample. Total Wines, BevMo and The Wine Club carry several. Albariño is a wine you should have in your wine cellar or closet. It is a wine we definitely don’t want to live without.

More on the Albariño Grape

The Albariño grape is a cool-climate grape. The Rias Baixas area of Spain is where 60% of the world’s Albariño is grown. It is on the Atlantic Coast, where the climate is cool, breezy and foggy. The Albariño vines are grown on a trellis system which allows the moisture on the grapes to dry during the afternoons.


The Trellis system is called Parra and anchored by granite posts

Albariño wines are dry and crisp, with lemon and lime characteristics. This makes Albariño a delightful seafood match. Try it with shrimp, calamari, clams, and mussels. The Spanish love Albariño with Pimentos Padron.

Albarino wine country
This is the Spanish village of Cambados. The small Albariño vineyards are owned by individuals. At harvest, they bring the grapes to the local co-op.

Comments

  1. I enjoyed a Spanish in Europe many years ago. I thought then I would one day visit Spain, but I never did. I always consider Spanish wines when selecting a vino for the evening. Thank you for the article!

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