Many of you are familiar with the Albariño grape, (Alvarinho in Portugal) that produces vibrant whites from Galicia, in the upper left-hand corner of Spain. Galicia’s subregion of Rías Baixas contains windswept vineyards, extremely affected by their ocean proximity, with grapes containing a “crunchy,” thirst-quenching acidity. Today’s example, a new release from Viña Zaco, spends extra time on the lees (or yeasty sediment) before undergoing a second, (malolactic) fermentation. Because of the grape’s inherent sharpness, this second fermentation fattens the bouquet and smooths out the mouth texture while retaining the refreshing qualities that have contributed to Albariño’s success.
2015 Albariño, Viña Zaco, Rias Baixas $17.50 srp
Very light, golden color. A generous lemon curd nose accompanied by salt breeze, wildflower, mineral cut and pineapple/grapefruit elements. The mouth texture is rounded yet citrusy, with ginger-tinged flavors and a refreshing, yet soft, finish. A touch of residual sugar makes it pleasurable with or without food. Cod, (bacalao) mackerel or all manner of shellfish would welcome this. Drink now-2018.