Albariño Day’s Pleasures – Albariño Pedralonga, a Glass Of Ocean Air
Yesterday was yet another wine day holiday – Albariño Day. As mentioned many times in this blog, yes, I do like the specific “wine days”. Reason is simple – it removes the headache of deciding what bottle of wine should be opened. By the way, this might also explain why I’m very indifferent to the “National Drink Wine Day” – thank you very much, I drink wine every day anyway, and this faceless holiday doesn’t really help with the decision.
Albariño is one of the best known Spanish white grapes and a star of the small region of Rias Baixas, located in the norther part of the country in Galicia. Rias Baixas has a lot of maritime influence, both in the types of soil and in the overall climate. Albariño are some of my favorite summer wines, generally very bright, medium to full body, with explicit white stone fruit (peaches, apricots) notes and excellent acidity. But of course one shouldn’t generalize too much, as all the wines are made different. This Albariño would be a great example of the “don’t generalize” rule.
The very first sniff of 2011 Adega Pedralonga Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain (13% ABV, $22) was saying “ocean” to me. I don’t know how it is possible, and I didn’t read anything about this wine before I tasted it, but that very first smell was just full of the fresh ocean air; breezy, friendly, unmistakably ocean, when you stand by the water, mesmerized by its royal endlessness. This wine didn’t have a lot of bright fruit – but it had a lot of minerality, it was genuinely complex, with the granite coming off both in the smell and on the palate. I had it first at the wine fridge temperature, at around 53°F. I chilled it a bit more, and the wine showed those bright apricot notes, but more as an afterthought, carrying over its minerality. I would compare it to Chablis, but only in the mineral-driven quality, as it had the granite, but not the gunflint of Chablis.
Just to give you reference, here is how this wine is described on the winery site: “Pure distilled granite, bathed by the atlantic rain and the characteristic sun of a south facing vineyard, tuned by it’s malolactic fermentation”. Yep, a pure distilled granite – I completely agree with that. I just have to add the word “delicious”. Delicious pure distilled granite sounds about right. And let’s not forget “thought provoking”. Drinkability: 8+