Albarino – Author Bill Stefan

Albarino – Author Bill Stefan

Albarino Analytical Wine Tasting Report PDT

The label contained: (1) the wine name: Val Do Sosego; (2) the varietal grape: Albarino; (3) the vintage: 2017; (4) regulatory control: Denominacion de Origen; (5) the wine is made in Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain; (6 and 7) the wine maker and bottler: Ren 6059/PO in Arbo (Pontevedra) Spain; (8) alcohol level of 12.5% (9) a picture of the apparent vineyard “O’Pucha, Arbo”; (10) 90 point ranking by “Decanter”; (11) imported by Saranty Imports, Stamford, CT; and, (12, 13, and 14) Albarino wine-making style from Rias Baixas is unoaked, without malo-lactic fermentation and dry (no sweetness), but this was not actually stated on the label.

The grapes were grown and the wine made in the Rias Baixas grape growing region of Northwestern Spain which has a Maritime Climate.

  1. This region is cooler and wetter than the other major wine growing regions of Spain.
  2. Rias Baixas climate and weather result in high acidity.
  3. Rias Baixas Albarino wines are dry and fragrant.
  4. Supposedly, in the 1300s, Cluny monks brought the Albarino grapes to Spain.
  5. Historically, the wine was dry, unoaked, no malo-lactic fermentation, and alcohol of 8.5%.
  6. In the mid-1900s, modern grape growing game into vogue and alcohol increased to 12.5%.
  7. The “Denominacion de Origen (DOC)” protects the reputation of the Rias Baixas Albarino and require the following standards:
    • 100% Rias Baixas grapes;
    • 85% Albarino grapes;
    • 85% grapes same vintage;
    • the vineyard meet standards;
    • the wine made according to certain techniques;
    • alcohol, acidity, and sugar meet certain standards;
    • the wine meet aromatic and taste qualities.

The wine is clear, brilliant, reflective, and pale yellow. My first sniff indicated a fresh wine with no faults. My second sniff indicated a wine with citrus notes, predominantly lemon, but also grapefruit and lime. Also, were hints of pear, apple, apricot, rose, nectarine, honey, and wet gravel. The basic tastes indicated a dry, pleasantly tart wine. The retro-nasal smells confirmed all my initial ortho-nasal smells. The wine was light to medium body, smooth, and without heat from the alcohol, which was 12.5%. The finish was long, lasting over 60 seconds. I continued sipping the wine for about 15-20 minutes and noticed that the pear, apple, apricot, rose, nectarine, honey, and wet gravel notes seemed to increase, especially the apricot and nectarine notes.

The traditional dishes for this wine are seafood and shellfish. The weight of the wine is medium to light body because of the low sugar or dryness and low alcohol level of 12.5%. As mentioned previously, the wines historically had an even lower alcohol level of 8.5%, which means they were lighter bodied than today. The weight of the fish was traditionally light bodied. I served the wine with store bought steamed shrimp (with lemon) and found a perfect match between the weight of the wine and food was perfect. In addition, the lemon smell of the wine with the lemon served with the fish was the perfect bridge ingredient.