Tag Archives: Albariño

Tasting Note: 3 North Vines Albariño

Albariño is a grape that originates in the northwest corner of Spain; it makes some incredible wines, and I’m dumbfounded that it’s not more common in the US.  The grape has the potential to fit a sweet spot in body, acidity, and fruit somewhere in between Chardonny, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio.  I think it’s tremendous with big, hearty fish, almost any style of chicken, and plenty of vegetarian dishes.

3 North Vines Albariño (2015) American – $24

Color: medium gold.

Aroma: floral, with some sharp citrus undertones.

Taste: mellow, with lots of pear and dried pear, dried flowers, and just a hint of grapefruit.

This wine is suitable for cocktail hour or for a meal.  It’s nice, but I’m hoping their next few vintages will provide some extra oomph.



Drinking Tonight: Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Albariño

The ‘petit’ in the name of this line of wines refers to the small production run. Just like the Cameron Hughes “lot” series, these are small batches of juice that are snatched up for below market value when the producer has an overproduction, loses a contract, or gets into a cash flow crunch. I’m drinking this with clam risotto – using the last of the fresh parsley in my herb garden before the frost hits, and the last of my turkey stock from last year. Fortunately, it’s Thanksgiving soon!

Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Albariño (2012) Paso Robles, California – $9

Photo0262Color: light straw yellow.

Aroma: golden delicious apple, apricot, and some nice floral notes – maybe purple lilac?

Taste: good body and acidity, with apple and pear dominating on the palate. It definitely is a wine for seafood.

This is a good deal – you don’t see a lot of Albariño grown outside of northwestern Spain, and this is a respectable production. Recommended – snap some up before it’s gone.


Drinking Today: Portico da Rio Albariño

I completed almost all of my fall gardening today, so I’m celebrating with a glass of white and a late lunch. I have crab-stuffed flounder in the oven, and I’m opening a bottle of Albariño to go with. I picked this baby up at Trader Joe’s earlier in the week.

If you’re not familiar with this grape, you should be! It’s still somewhat obscure, because it doesn’t get a lot of shelf space and is grown almost exclusively in the Rias Baixas region of far northwestern Spain. I like Albariño because it has a fuller body – up into white Rhone, Viognier, and Chardonnay territory – while still displaying the brightness and elegance of a good Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris.

Portico da Ria Albariño (2011) Rias Baixas, Spain – $9.00

Photo0234Color: light golden in color – darker than lemons, lighter than goldenrod or honey.

Aroma: citrus and melon fruit, with a good acidic edge, followed by some honeyed floral notes.

Taste: nice – a combination of citrus and light melon, with a good, mouth-filling texture and a touch of smoky dried fruit. Somewhere between marmalade and candied citrus rind on the finish, and it’s plenty long.

A great bottle of white to have on hand, especially as an alternative to Chardonnay when pairing with medium-rich seafood. This would work well with scallops in cream sauce, shrimp salad, or grouper – and especially well with sushi!  Recommended!