Let’s celebrate International Albariño Days. Beginning on August 2nd and continuing for six days Albariño wines take the grand stage and why not because this white grape makes the perfect summer wine. Find aromatic botanical aromas while the flavor profile displays hints of citrus and stone fruit bringing a fresh outlook to white wine.
The grape originated in Portugal but today grows primarily in the Galicia region of northwest Spain. Often known as the variety from Rias Baixas, today the grape cultivates in many places around the world including California.
Albariño Wines for International Albariño Days
My selection for International Albariño Days comes from different regions of California and Rias Baixas.
Ragbag WineWorks Albarino
Steven Kent Winery just introduced a new line of wines called Ragbag WineWorks, which debuted with a 2017 Albariño. This wine project initiates a new venture for father and son team, Steven and Aidan Mirassou, 6th and 7th generation winemakers. The Mirrassou’s represent one of California’s oldest winemaking families.
For the Mirassou’s ragbag refers to the outdoor celebrations that occur during harvest time and signifies the wine sipped at gatherings that are “making taste buds dance.” Trust me their Albariño will make your taste buds dance.
The artwork on the label defines the liveliness of the wine inside the bottle. It stays in keeping with Ragbag’s motto, “making taste buds dance.” The artwork reminds me of Joan Miro meeting Picasso. It is one of the best wine labels I have seen this year.
The 2017 Albariño comes from the Terra Alta Vineyard in Lodi. This vineyard is owned by the Bokisch’s, who are known for their Spanish and Portuguese varietals. Find a lively wine that is crisp yet has density. The floral aromas accent the tropical fruit, citrus, and grass found on the nose. On the palate flavors of citrus, stone fruit and guava mixed in with some nice spices including herbal spice on the finish.
This wine should not be missed.
Crawford Family Wines Albariño
Crawford Family Wines 2016 Albariño comes from the Brickbarn Vineyard near Buellton, California. The wine represents an excellent example of Santa Barbara Wine Country’s take on this varietal. The aromas of white flower give way to flavors of pineapple and stone fruit with spice on the finish. Although the wine ages in stainless steel, I found a creamy texture. Crawford Family Wines’ current release is 2017, which I am looking forward to sampling.
Pazos de Lusco Albariño
Pazos De Lusco is one of the wineries under the family umbrella of Gonzáley Byass. Situated in the Rias Baixas region of Spain the 2016 Albariño delivers aromas of tropical fruits/pineapple accented by florals. On the palate, I found citrus and pineapple with a spicy finish of ginger. I thought of ginger beer as I sipped this wine. It also gives the wine a zesty quality that often one finds in Gewürztraminer.
Any of these Albariño wines merit tasting. Since you still have a chance to celebrate, let’s not forget to raise our glasses of Albariño and toast International Albariño Days.
Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer was hosted to some of the wines sampled. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.