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The Albariño Grape


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About Albariño

(Synonyms: Albelleiro, Alvarin Blanco, Alvarinho, Azal Blanco, Galego, Galeguinho,Padernã)

Background

Map showing Galicia

Albariño is a white-wine grape originating in, and still primarily from, Galicia—the northwest corner of the Iberian peninsula, parts of which are in Spain and parts in Portugal (where the grape is known as is known as Alvarinho). Till fairly recently, Albariño was an obscure variety, little known outside its home; that was chiefly because transport to and from that region was minimal and slow. With the advent of improved railways, the grape came to the attention of the world market, and it is now generally considered one of the dozen and a half or so of world-class white wines. While it is characteristic of Iberian wines to be blends, known by regional names, Albariño is so well regarded that it is usually bottled as a 100% monovarietal.

It is widely felt that the best Albariños come from the Rías Baixas area. Classic winemaking for Rías Baixas Albariño does not involve contact with wood; but in recent years, some winemakers have been experimenting with oak-barrel aging for at least some of their Albariños. The practice (as well as a trend to less-dry renditions) is controversial: some feel it makes a better wine, while others hold that good, bad, or indifferent, whatever results is not “real” Albariño. There are obviously no definitive answers, but be aware of those basic stylistic differences when approaching samples of this varietal, and don’t judge all by a few.

Factoid: Albarino is the smallest white-wine grape in the world.

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Some Descriptions of Albariño Wines

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Some Albariños to Try

(About this list.)

Quinta de Soalheiro Alvarinho
(This is the basic version, not their “Reserva” or their “Granit”.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Anselmo Mendes “Contacto” Alvarinho
(Mendes makes several Alvarinhos: be sure to look for the “Contacto” bottling)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Anselmo Mendes “Muros Antigos” Alvarinho

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Bodegas del Palacio de Fefiñanes “Albariño de Fefiñanes”
(Fefinanes also bottles an “1583” and a “III Ano”, which are more expensive.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



As Laxas Albariño
(This is their basic Albariño bottling, not any of the sub-named versions.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
  (CellarTracker has two separate listings for this wine.)
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

We found no Albariño wines enough better than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.