We recently attended a virtual tasting, sponsored by Rías Baixas Wine and Snooth, featuring eleven Albariño wines and noteworthy comments by Snooth’s co-founder/CEO/chief taster Mark Angelillo and Lyn Farmer, James Beard Award-winning wine & food writer.
Rías Baixas Albariño comes from Galicia, located in the northwest corner of Spain, which more closely resembles coastal Ireland than it does other parts of Spain.
While we have enjoyed an occasional glass of Albariño in the past, it was an eye-opener to discover there is lots of variety, style, texture and diversity in Albariño wines; but they are consistently tasty with minerality, creaminess and zesty citrus, stone fruit and tropical fruit flavors. And they are very affordable.
As a result, we are adding Albariño to our list of summer sippers — to be poured poolside, lakeside, on the deck, or patio.
While we enjoyed all eleven bottles provided for the virtual tasting, two of our favorites were Paco & Lola and Terras Gauda O Rosal, which are understandably sold out. But you can buy the others on sale by Snooth in three, six and nine packs.
Here are our notes on the eleven Albariño wines, starting with our three favorites.
Terras Gauda O Rosal ($24)
This is the only wine of the 11 we tasted that is not 100% Albariño, rather a blend of 70% Albariño, 20% Caino and 10% Loureiro. Don’t let the busy label distract you. This delicious beauty is complex, balanced and has great depth and a powerful structure. With notes of citrus, minerality, white peach and orange blossoms, this impressive blend is an excellent combination of creamy, zesty, and nutty.
Paco and Lola ($22)
If you love Sauvignon Blanc, like we do, you will give a thumbs up for this award-winning Albariño. Intense and fresh, this is a lemon creamsicle – creamy yet zesty. Herbs and minerality showcase the citrus in a most pleasing way. Let’s just call it summer in a glass. According to the tasting notes, it’s “the freshest, most fun and chic Albariño of the Rias Baixas.”
This stunning wine was also a favorite, and unlike the previous two, it is not sold out. Fillaboa is an elegant, intense, lively and bright Albariño that is classic and true to its varietal. Aromatics of citrus, pineapple and apple are followed by notes of citrus, stone fruit and a silky, yet creamy, texture.
Condes de Albarei ($15)
Featuring flavors of stone fruit such as peach and apricot, orange blossom, lemon ice, white pepper and minerality, this wine is refreshing, bright, and an excellent value.
Nai e Señora ($16)
A crisp, clean Albariño, Nai features notes of vanilla, stone fruit and lemon zest. The Galician poets of the first half of the twentieth century refer to “nai” as a tribute to women.
Bodegas As Laxas ($18)
This wine shows flavors of grapefruit, creamy apple, juicy summer peaches and tropical fruits, with a bit of zingy sweetness, depth and a full mouthfeel.
Señor de Rubióus Robaliño ($18)
A clean, light Albariño, Señor de Rubióus opens with aromas of citrus, grapefruit, lemon peel and white peach, leading into flavors of golden apple and lush, tropical fruit.
Don Pedro de Soutomajor ($19)
The citrus is prominent in this saline-driven Albariño, with intense aromas and a lovely texture. A crowd-pleaser, this Albariño has notes of green apple, pears and sea air.
This 2016 wine placed #56 in Wine Enthusiast‘s Top 100 Best Buys. It showcases grassy notes, green fruit, grapefruit, stone fruit, citrus, tropical flavors and crisp minerality.
Altos de Torona ($20)
Crisp with zesty acidity, this Albariño entices with aromas of peach and apricot, followed by a touch of smoke and spice underneath the layers of citrus, mangos and passionfruit.
Pazo Señorans ($25)
Open this Albariño to enjoy at brunch or poolside. This wine features creamy tropical fruit and lemons with grassy flavors, high acidity and great minerality.
Because of their vibrant acidity, all of these food-friendly wines pair well with seafood dishes such as paella, ceviche, sushi, shrimp or fish tacos, or any kind of seafood ranging from oysters to salmon to swordfish. They also will go well with barbecued chicken. Or you could simply nibble on creamy cheeses while sipping a glass on the deck.
Of note, some people recommend that Albariño is served chilled but not icy cold, which would kill the nuance and flavors in this refreshing wine.
Be sure to check out Snooth’s sale! We recommend that you stock up for summer.
Margot and Dave