Wine Tasting Notes: Albarino

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 By Carol A. Wilcox  Graphics by Paul Wilcox

Wine Tasting Group Series

Every few months, we get together with a few wine-loving friends to taste and learn about wine. Over the years, we’ve discovered and tasted wines from many corners of the world, sipping dozens and dozens of varietals and enjoying a multitude of wine styles. As a group, we’ve learned about (and tasted) a lot of wine!

We thought it would be interesting to create a Wine Tasting Group Series of posts on Possible Pours blog to occasionally report on the honest recommendations of this group, whose opinions we highly respect.

Wine Tasting Group Series – Albariño

Albariño is a white grape originating from the eastern region of Portugal, where it is commonly known as Alvarinho. It is a popular white wine grape in Portugal but is equally popular in the northwestern region of Spain in Galicia, where it is widely grown in the Rias Baixas region.

Wines made with Albariño grapes have a tendency to be acidic and dry with notes of lemon, grapefruit and peaches. It’s a wine that you’ll want to drink within 1 to 3 years of bottling.

What the group tasted

The group tasted two Albariño wines – one from Spain and one from Paso Robles, California. We wanted to compare the nuances of each wine – what was similar and what was different. Here are the results:

The Wines

Val Do Sosego Albariño Rias Baixas 2018 – Produced by Bodegas As Laxas Winery and located in the Rias Baixas region in Pontevedra, Spain, this family winery has been producing wines for four generations.  

Val Do Sosego Albariño Rias Baixas

Impressions

The wine was pale straw yellow in the glass. There were pleasant citrus flowers and lemon aromas on the nose with tastes of pear and tart green apple. The wine was elegant and acidic with a smooth, dry finish.

Details

Bodegas As Laxas Winery  

Pontevedra Spain

Price Range: $11 - $14 - Available at select Total Wine stores and other wine merchants in the U.S.

The Tortured Artist Albariño 2017 – A young couple who never aspired to be in the wine making business, by chance found themselves obsessed with learning everything they could about wine. The result of their labor can be found at their boutique winery in Paso Robles, California called League of Rogues. The grapes sourced for The Tortured Artist Albariño come from the Edna Valley area of San Luis Obispo, California.

The Tortured Artist Albariño 2017

 Impressions

The wine was a green-yellow color in the glass. There were luscious aromas of citrus and vanilla with tastes of grass, lemons and peaches. The wine was acidic with a soft, smooth finish.

Details

League of Rogues

Paso Robles, CA

Price Range: $12 - $14 – Available at the winery and local area restaurants as well as in select boutique wine stores.

Group Consensus

Quite often, when we taste and compare wines of the same varietal, our group has clear winners and losers. In this case however, we all agreed that we liked both.

The colors were distinctly different - the Val Do Sosego was light yellow in the glass and the The Tortured Artist had a green-yellow color. Val Do Sosego was more acidic than its California counterpart, and we detected more floral notes in the Spanish wine than in The Tortured Artist.

There was no question that they were distinctly different in taste and style (Old World versus New World), but they were equally enjoyable.

We discussed food pairing options for these wines. The group agreed that it was a nice warm weather sipper on its own, or to serve with appetizers. It would also pair well with shellfish, poultry and lightly sauced pasta dishes.

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