DWWA 2013 International Trophies: White Single-Varietal Over £15
Angel Sequeiros, Albariño Foudre, Rías Baixas, Spain 2010 (13.5%)
Fresh, elegant nose of nutty apple and peach, with elderflower aromas. Complexity and natural sweetness on a juicy palate. A classic.
Not available in the UK
Tasted against • Lunae, Colli di Luni, Italy 2012 • Dobogó, Furmint, Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary 2011 • Cantine di Marzo, Scipio, Greco di Tufo, Southern Italy 2011 • Gaia, Wild Ferment Assyrtiko, Santorini, Greece 2012 • Château de Jurque, Emotion, Jurançon Sec, Southwest France 2011 • Leth, Grüner Veltliner Scheiben 1 QWT, Wagram, Niederösterreich, Austria 2011 • Yalumba, The Virgilius Viognier, Eden Valley, South Australia 2010
A hotly contested category, there were many different grape varieties vying for this prize but for the second consecutive year Albariño has claimed the title. Last year was a proud moment for Portugal, with its first International Trophy for a white wine (there called Alvarinho), and this year it is Spain’s turn to celebrate.
Albariño is the grape that gave its name to Galicia’s most famous wine, characterised by its freshness and fruit. These used to be good wines, only just short of great, but Angel Sequeiros, following the trend started by Marisol Bueno from Pazo de Señorans, decided to aim even higher, seeking extra complexity by keeping it in contact with the lees for a long time after fermentation.
Albariño does not improve with oak ageing – the spicy aromas of oak tend to hide the grape’s delicate floral and peachy notes – but lees-stirring gives a bit of natural aeration. The answer in this wine was to do the 11 months of ageing and stirring in one 5,000-litre oak foudre.
This is probably the best style for top-quality Albariño: with very discreet oak influence, the wine develops its aromas, and shows balance and length. It’s a new dimension for Albariño lovers, and a wine that can improve over four years and keep for another four.
Grapes for this Trophy winner come from a 7.4ha vineyard, with vines planted between 45 and 90 years ago at the heart of Condado, one of the top sub-regions in Rias Baixas. Pedro
Ballesteros Torres MW