Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What's in My Glass Wednesdays! 2009 Albarino by Finca de Arantei

I found a nice, thrifty Albarino (said "al-bar-een-nno") on the shelves in the PA Wine Store this week, and I was super excited.  Albarino is one of my favorite white wine varieties.  Albarino is a white wine variety that is home to the Rias Baixas region of Spain.  (In Portugal, this grape is called Alvarinho.)  Traditionally, Spanish Albarinos have flavors reminiscent of almonds, peaches, apples, and citrus.  Sometimes they may have nuances of green grass or a sweet, floral component.

The Vines of the Rias Baixas Region
(Photo from Google Images)

Rias Baixas Region of Spain
(Photo from Google Images)

Doesn't this make you want to take a trip to Spain and taste Albarinos all over the place?  For more information on the wines of Rias Baixas, click on the attached link.  And of course - enjoy the review!

(Photos from Google Images)

The D-2010 Scale 
2009 Albarino by Finca de Arantei (Rias Baixas, Spain)
Appearance (10 points possible): straw yellow color, clear - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Hay/Straw, Melon, Canteloupe, Pear, Slight Pineapple, Hint of Vanilla and Cream. - 18 points
Taste (10 points possible): Light and creamy entry.  Acidic mid-palate that is incredibly crisp.  Flavors of pear and pineapple and creamy, vanilla finish. - 7 points
Balance (5 points possible): The only component that really spoke to me was the acidity.  However, this is a common feature of the Albarino variety.  It is known for excessively crisp acidity (which pairs extremely well with the local seafood cuisine of the Rias Baixas region - go figure!). - 4 points
Finish (5 points possible): Creamy, vanilla finish with slight hints of pineapple.  This finish lingered for quite some time and was incredibly pleasant.  A nice change up from Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. - 4 points
Packaging *Introduction to the D-2010 Scale*
Quality of Package (5 points possible):  Nice, dark green glass.  Natural, good quality cork.  Nice, strong (I think it was tin) capsule in a golden-copper tone. - 5 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible): This is a very traditional style label.  I actually walked by this bottle twice, before the box it was sitting in hit me in the face.  And it only hit me in the face because I saw the word "ALBARINO" on a bright green piece of paper attached to the box.  However, I really like the golden-copper stripe across the label. - 8 points
Other (5 points possible): Again, very traditional packaging. - 5 points
Total Points: 91 points
Overall Thought: Although this was a nice Albarino, it wasn't my favorite.  But, I think that it was worth the price and a good introductory Albarino for those new to the variety.
Food Pairings:  Definitely a great seafood wine.  I'm thinking clams or crabcakes!  But, I also enjoyed this with some dried apricots and cheeses.  However, a great sipping wine as well. 
Cost: $9.99
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 1 - a wonderful "new variety" value wine (especially if you've never had an Albarino before or are looking for something to try)
Where to buy: I found this wine at the PA Wine & Spirits store, so I'm sure it's distributed nationally.  Otherwise, check on or snooth for your nearest distributor.

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