A New World Albariño, I’m excited! Medium lemon colored, it has fast moving legs belying its modest 13% ABV. The nose has medium intensity aromas of pineapple, lemon zest, bruised apple, geranium and baking spice. On the palate it is dry, really dry, with high acidity and a tart opener. Lemon, underripe pineapple, green apple and spice. There is a piercing minerality on the mid palate that I am really enjoying. The body is fairly light whilst the finish is medium in length and refreshing with the cut I got initially. A nicely crafted wine that gets 90 points from me and 4 stars for it’s $37 sticker price. I am pairing it with Thai beef salad and some Szechuan fried veggies. Drink now. Salut….
The 101st bottle tasted at our Virtual Wine tasting was this Albariño from Uruguay. As always- we tasted it at room temperature first and then chilled. The wine is a pretty, pale gold color. The room temp version had aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, peach, apricot, yellow pear, lemon zest and evidence of MLF and Sur Lie aging by way of yeast, bread and buttered popcorn. We agreed that the wine had high acidity, medium (+) body and a medium finish. I gave it 12/20 on the VWTC scale and 90 points.
The chilled version was a touch flabby- the flavors were muted but we did get buttered popcorn, green apple, tangerine, pear and honeysuckle. Quite a marked difference in flavor profiles. One thing that we noticed was a cotton candy flavor, albeit very faint. Someone mentioned a touch of residual sugar was noticed but at 3.2 g/l, it is considered a Dry wine. Chilled- this wine had a lower weight body and seemed less acidic. It scored 8/20 and I gave it 87 points.
To be fair, this is a decent wine that deserves the 90 points I originally assigned and for $17, it gets 4 stars. Drink now with seafood cocktails or a crisp salad. Salut….
We kicked off the 25th Virtual Wine Tasting event with this Alvarinho. The winemaker has allowed some skin contact during fermentation so I was hoping for a rounder, fuller bodied wine. We tasted it at room temperature and then chilled. Here is what the group thought of this wine.
Pale straw colored with citrus, pineapple, yellow apple and saline on the nose. Someone caught a whiff of petrol and we decided that the smell of Vaseline was an appropriate moniker. Medium acidity and light bodied this wine has medium intensity flavors of honey, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, yellow apple and I sensed brioche. I gave this version 11 marks on the VWTC score sheet.
The chilled version was crisper and had more prominent aromas and flavors. Saline, honeysuckle and brioche with far less apple/citrus notes on the nose. The palate had melon, grapefruit, pineapple and we felt the acidity was more prominent. The wine had more body and scored 13 marks with me. Overall this $20 gets 89 points from me, which is a far cry from the monster scores the pros gave. I will re-taste tonight and report back if there is any significant change to my assessment of this 3 star effort. Drink now with seafood or a chicken salad. Salut….
We kicked off the 15th Virtual wine tasting with this Albarino. The group had many descriptors for this rather complex white that was tasted at room temperature and then chilled. The golden color of the wine was very inviting. On the nose we got honeysuckle, floral notes, golden raisins, lemon, stone fruit, and Mandarin oranges! The palate consisted of muted pear, peach and lemon. One of the members stated that the acidity was similar to a grapefruit- sorta sweet yet biting. The chilled version actually performed better by most accounts. There was more lemon on the nose- it smelled like Spring or Summer. Flowery notes with beeswax (honeysuckle carryover) were part of a sharper, crisper nose. The palate had what seemed like more acidity, was more focused and had a hint of caramel in addition to the citrus we mentioned. I gave them 12 and 14 points on the VWTC scale and would go with 91 regular points. For $17 you should stock up for a warm summer with this 5 star beaut. Drink till 2025. Salut….
The 10th Virtual Wine Tasting featured this Spanish wine as the lone white, which we tasted both chilled and at room temperature. I made a prediction right after I tasted the room temp version that this wine would be better chilled, contrary to the usual. I was correct.
The wine showed nicely in the glass with a pale yellow color and fine legs. The tasters noted melon, citrus, ‘soapy’, pear and honey. On the palate it was considered ‘mild’, ‘light’, with notes of grapefruit and apricot coming through. The chilled version gave me a sharper nose, was more vibrant and had notes of Granny Smith apples, pear and citrus. I found it more dry, acidic and having flavors of ginger and grapefruit on the palate. One taster mentioned it had ‘Zing’ from the acidity.
As I have said before it’s hard to run a virtual tasting and make my own notes when there’s 20 other people chiming in with their own opinions, but I do try to write down what the common theme is that we are all tasting. Overall this was a nice intro to the varietal and I really enjoyed it the next night as an aperitif with some Lebanese Mezza. It hit the thirst spot right on and was refreshing with it’s acidity and that Zing! Overall I would give this Albariño 89 points, but drink it chilled. 4 stars for this $19 effort. Salut….
Last night was Moxie’s birthday dinner at The Melting Pot fondue restaurant. After perusing the menu and deciding on going the whole hog 4 course extravaganza I needed a white to pair with the cheese course. Apparently every Wednesday night is half price wine on bottles costing less than $40. I scanned the wine menu and was impressed with the offerings and prices. Seems most bottles were in the more palatable 2X retail range rather than the more obnoxious 3X that most restaurants deem is fair for a bottle of wine. I digress…
I picked this Spanish Albarino from the Rias Baixas region and was rewarded with a delicious, chilled bottle that hit every note I asked of it. Straw colored it offered up a melange of fruits and spices on the nose that were delicious to smell. On the palate it was very true to varietal with great aromatics mingling with some peaches and dried apricots, kinda like Viognier but with far more acidity. This wine was crisp and lithe which paired very well with our cheese. This varietal is well planted in Spain and Portugal and is definitely one which I will be purchasing for the summer. I can imagine sipping this one on the patio in the evenings with some cold cuts and crudités. I bet it would rock a baked salmon and risotto dish. When was the last time you had an Albarino? Retailing at about $18 I am going with 90 points and 5 stars. I hope my local shop carries it! Salut….
This was the white wine that my mate ‘Mr Tormay‘ ordered for dinner. If you recall, he is an avid Sauvignon Blanc fan but they ran out so he was forced to switch varietals at the Cajun/Korean fusion restaurant last night. I got a taste as he shared the bottle with Moxie, another white wine fiend. Albarino is from northern Spain and is a highly aromatic wine, which goes against his strict taste profile. I understood why after a few sips. Yes, it is aromatic, but it has some cutting acidity and lacks the cloying sweetness found in other similar wines. The nose offered melons, some Bosc pear and a hint of lemon. The flavors of honeysuckle and peach also came through on the mid palate in addition to the pear and citrus. A very interesting grape that I found to be quite multidimensional and easy to drink. I would put this wine up with some grilled sardines any day. A summer salad with a chilled bottle- awesome. I’m going with 89 points and will be on the lookout for this $12 bottle. 4 stars for its QPR and interest factor. Salut….