Rias Baixas, Spain
90% of the vineyards are dedicated to Abariño
Albariño is being grown all over the world, but it originates from Rias Baixas. We spent some time getting to know a little about the region and then tasting through 3 Albariños from this region and doing a little experimental food pairing.
August 1st is “Albariño Day”. To celebrate, we are doing a group blog post with some of our friends who are wine bloggers, organized by Andrew over at Wine Thirty Flight. Now Andrew and team are experts on Spanish wines and so Albariño is one of their deep loves. To get us in the mood we thought we would dive back into some of our favorite Albariños.
Back in 2014 I was just learning about Albariños and I wrote a piece Albarino Portico da Rio, a crisp zesty white wine from Spain Here’s a bit of the blog:
- “The stories of it’s origin are interesting. One legend has monks bringing Riesling or Petit Manseng from Burgundy to this part of Spain in the 12th or 13th centuries. It has since been proven to be indigenous to Spain, but it does resemble Riesling’s minerality. It often has the body and weight of a Viognier and the acidity of a Pinot Gris.
- I read quite a bit about the history of the area, but it was much more fun to hear about it from my friend Pepe who is from Spain. He was so excited to tell me about Galacia. The area is often wet and cloudy and feels more like Ireland than Spain. He says this is not just the weather, but the fact that the Celts settled this area long ago, so you see many ginger haired blue-eyed Spaniards here. In addition it is not uncommon to hear bagpipes and Celtic crosses dot the landscape.”
So as with most grape varieties this Spanish grape is now grown in California. A few years ago we tasted with Rick Longoria of Longoria Wines in Santa Barbara and picked up a bottle of his beautiful Albariño to take home. We enjoyed it with shellfish and I posted an article Longoria Albarino and Shellfish
Rick Longoria is legendary in Santa Barbara and is soft spoken and humble when speaking of his incredible wines. We had a wonderful conversation with him at the Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Grand Tasting. Here is a bit from that post:
- To make this wine Rick does a whole cluster press then lets the juice rest overnight before racking it into stainless steel to ferment. He cold ferments at 60 degrees which he says helps to preserve those beautiful aromatics. This spends another few months in stainless steel before it is bottled. Only 254 cases were produced
- This wine has such a lovely nose, with beautiful soft white florals and a little bees wax. The tartness was refreshing on the palate.
As Albariño Day approaches we headed out to find a few more Albariños to taste and share with you! The best of our tasting will be shared on the group post with Wine Thirty Flight! Watch for our Albariño tasting, where we try 3 Albariños from Rias Baixas and pair them with some delicious foods.
Pairing with cheese
Ibores – firm, tangy goat’s milk cheese from Spain
Mahon – sharp, cow’s milk cheese from Spain
How to serve
how to serve
serve Ice cold
warming it slightly will release more aromas
no need to decant
pair with food
Pair with food
well suited for:
Thai, Morroccan, Indian
Oysters, Fresh white crab, Fresh prawns or shrimp, Mixed shellfish platters
Steamed mussets or clams, Simply grilled fish such as seabass, squid or sardines