Grown in the Galicia, the cool and wet northwest corner (known to locals as green Spain) Albariño is without a doubt Spain’s best cool climate white wine.
It has always been a favourite among wine writers, sommeliers and other wine insiders, but in space of just a few short years Albariño has made the jump from niche product into the mainstream spotlight, so much so that it is now one of Ireland’s best-loved white grape varietals.
This reasons behind this boom in popularity are very easy to see for Albariño aficionados (myself included), as the wines it produces are perhaps better-suited to summer sipping than any other wine-style; always possessing refreshingly crisp acidity, and usually with retrained levels of alcohol.
In terms of aroma and flavour you can expect to find citrus notes alongside stone fruit elements such as peach and apricot, and often more than a little minerality on the finish.
All of this make these wines work really well not just as aperitifs but also as perfect partners to so much of the food we love to eat in Summer; everything from zesty salads to grilled fish and tapas.
Although our love of this wonderful Grape is fairly recent, back in Galicia they have always known they had something special.
In fact, for over 50 years, the Galician town of Cambados has hosted an annual Albariño festival (as shown above) on the first weekend in August. With tastings, banquets and awards ceremonies this celebration has become one of the most heavily-attended gastronomic dates in Spain, sometimes exceeding 25,000 people a day.
So while it may be a little late to get over to Galicia for this weekend, you could always join in the celebrations at home with one of the delicious Albariños below.
Contrapunto is Classic Albariño, citrus and floral aromas, with a touch of stone fruit. On the palate it displays a mouth-filling fruity character perfectly balanced with the vibrant zingy acidity.
While it is terrifically floral and aromatic, there is much-more to Lagar de Costa than just fruit. It also has excellent acidity and serious stony minerality.
Pazo Barrantes is a wonderfully expressive Albariño, abundant bright citrus aromatics are perfectly balanced with the creamy textured mouthfeel that comes with lees ageing. Grapes are sourced exclusively from the 12ha Pazo de Barrantes estate.