If you’ve been reading my recent posts, you probably know what to expect from this one. If not, I’ve got one word for you: Albariño. This is a grape that bursts to life in Galicia, an area that was always described to me as hosting the more offbeat Spaniards. Focusing on the wine, this #WineStudio session highlighted everything from the winemaking females creating a name for themselves to the diversity of the grape itself. If you only drink Chardonnay or crave something tropical, you can find the right bottle for you; if you tend toward something with more edge, you can also find a bottle to meet your standards.
Weeks had passed since the first Albariño night occurred, but I was still chugging away…both literally and figuratively. Despite the outline for the program, I ended up tasting the selections for week seven after some those from week nine. One such bottle was the 2014 La Caña, a weighty wine that still retained its acidic edge. It was like a cool Aunt, a little older with some depth, but still something simply fun. On the palate, there were flavors of pear with a citrusy, fruit stand quality to it. Still, the fruitiness was rounded out by the acid. This was the type of wine one could either spend hours with or finish quickly during a get together with friends. Overall, it was a bottle worth seeking out, offering the best of both worlds when it comes to this grape.
Also from week seven was the 2015 Etiqueta Ambar Granbazán, the only wine I received that was rocking a Riesling-style bottle. Dry with a nice fresh citrus finish, this was a dependable option that didn’t necessarily leave a lasting impression. There was nothing wrong with it, but much like a night spent in streaming Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the millionth time, there wasn’t anything that made it imprint on my soul. It was good, though it blurred in with the other bottles a little too easily for me. The SRP on this bottle fell in the more expensive range compared to its brothers and sisters, but at $22 a pop, it was still a worthwhile venture.
Catching up with week nine, I sampled the 2015 Edicion Especial Adegas Valmiñor. This wine knew what it was, and that resulted in something with medium acid, crisp fruit, and a salty quality to balance out the more tropical aspects of the bottle. Now, I don’t know what immediately comes to your mind when you think about pairings, but the Italian cold cut from Mastallone’s in Baltimore was amazing and easily one of the best pairings of the whole event. The vinegar and the hots on the sandwich sung when followed by a sip of this wine the color of a shallow golden lake. It was a great way to end this longer #WineStudio session, and I left knowing more about Albariño, Galicia, and the food that could highlight this diverse wine.
And just like that, it was over. When cases were arriving at my house week after week, I felt like I’d be drinking Albariño once a week until I turned thirty. As I’m currently rocking a summertime cold and unable to enjoy anything besides strong cups of tea and Theraflu, I wouldn’t mind that feeling again. While I might be a little drained of Albariño right now, give me a couple more weeks and I’m sure I’ll be scouring my local wine shop for another bottle. I’ll just be searching for a young, lively, crisp one, instead of those geriatric ones that didn’t speak to me. For those who crave something in-depth and fun, these PROTOCOL Wine Studio Twitter Tuesdays are usually both and should be attended by any curious wine lovers out there. So, join me next Tuesday at 9 pm to learn all about Umbria. It’s the hot topic of the month, though if your proclivities lean more toward the Spanish set, I’m sure it won’t be long before we visit there again, too.
These wines were kindly provided to me by the companies listed above, but all opinions are my own.