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Albariño Day: 10 top-scoring wines to try

Award-winning Albariño wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards to celebrate with.

Light-bodied, fresh and with mouth-watering acidity, Albariño is an indigenous white grape variety from the Iberian Peninsula, popular worldwide for its crisp citrus, stone fruit, light floral flavours and saline edge.

Albariños can be ageworthy too, developing notes like preserved lemon and honey while gaining concentration, additional body and creaminess – particularly for wines aged on their lees during the winemaking process.

Primarily grown in Spain and Portugal, where it’s known as Alvarinho, plantings of Albariño can be found across the globe – evident from recent Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) results with medal-winning wines coming from Argentina, France, Moldova, New Zealand, South Africa, Ukraine, the United States and Uruguay.

Located in northwest Spain, the maritime-influenced region of Rías Baixas in Galicia, however, is this grape’s heartland, and saw a vast majority of Albariño wines awarded at the 2023 competition, including a Best in Show.


Scroll down to discover 10 top-scoring Albariño wines from DWWA 2023


During judging week co-chair Sarah Jane Evans MW advised, ‘You can get wine from extraordinary places, but I’m going to tell you about Spain because that’s, I think, the most exciting country in Europe… in the rainy and cold Atlantic in northwest Spain, all around Galicia, there so many different wines to find. Just remember Galicia or the Mediterranean coast. You can’t go wrong.’ 

Eight varietal Albariño/Alvarinho and Albariño-based wines were awarded 95+ points at DWWA; three of these to wines from Rías Baixas and two to Ribeiro, also located in Galicia. The top scoring, Mar de Frades, Finca Monteveiga Albariño, Rías Baixas 2018, was awarded 97 points for its aromatic profile, seaside freshness and energetic acidity. 

On judging wines from Spain, DWWA regional chair Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW commented, ‘For me, as a professional in this sector, this is a wonderful opportunity to taste a wide array of wines from my country, all levels of quality, while not being influenced by the label. Looking at what is there, it helps me a lot to make up my mind on the present state of the fine wine industry in Spain.’

Both youthful and aged examples of Albariño topped the charts at the 2023 competition with vintages back to 2016 awarded 90-plus points. And while Spain was the majority leader for Gold medals awarded, Uruguay is the standout outlier with a Gold medal and 95 points for an expressive single vineyard Albariño 2022 from Bodega Garzón

To celebrate Albariño Day on 1st August, below discover 10 top-scoring wines from DWWA 2023, with more to discover on our results site at awards.decanter.com  

Albariño Day: 10 top-scoring wines to try

100% varietal Albariño wines, unless blend is noted

Spain

Mar de Frades, Finca Monteveiga Albariño, Rías Baixas 2018 

Best in Show, 97 points
This 2018 wine has retained its pale silver-gold colour, while the haunting honeysuckle perfume seems, if anything, to have intensified as it aged.  On the palate, though, the aromatic profile is now subsiding and the flavours are deepening; the wine’s seaside freshness is still clearly evident in its energetic, broadly founded acidity, ripe and resonant to the last sip. Alcohol 13% 

Adegas Valdavia, Cuñas Davia Barrica, Ribeiro 2021

Gold, 95 points
50% Albariño, 50% Treixadura
Superb nose with gentle aromas of apricot, papaya, brioche and brown butter. Nicely rounded and resolved with lingering smoky oak flavours. Lively, exciting and attractive the acidity is beautifully countered by the weighty texture. Alc 13.5%

Maior De Mendoza, Albariño 2022 

Gold, 95 points
Inviting and elegant, with aromas of lemon zest, nectarine, pear, honeydew melon and grapefruit leading to a pulsating palate of greengage and quince with zippy acidity. Very long and absolutely delicious. Alc 13% 

Paco & Lola, Heritage Albariño 2018 

Gold, 95 points
Very expressive sweet fruit salad, custard cream and vanilla bouquet. The palate is beautifully textured and poised with racy acidity and notes of tropical fruit, macadamia nut and brown butter. A stunner! Alc 13% 

Attis Bodega Y Viñedos, Nana 2021 

Silver, 93 points
A very ripe style with a floral, spicy nose and a soft, broad palate followed by a fairly long, creamy pineapple finish. Alc 13% 

Bodegas Martín Códax, Lías Albariño 2020 

Silver, 93 points
Oak spice, wet leave and pear aromatics. Great texture on the palate; fresh and zippy too with a long and citrusy finish. Alc 12.5% 

Notas Frutales De Albariño, La Trucha de Acero Albariño 2017 

Silver, 92 points
Peach, mango and honeysuckle nose. Mineral, saline and elegant on the palate with a long, citrusy finish. Alc 12.5% 

Portugal

Anselmo Mendes, Parcela Única, Monção e Melgaço, Vinho Verde 2020

Gold, 95 points
Beautifully evolved honeysuckle, fleshy white peach and creamy, toasty nougat with a beeswax texture and bristling spicy, limey edge continuing to the long, lingering finish. Alc 13%

Herdade Da Calada, Caladessa, Alentejo 2021

Gold, 95 points
40% Alvarinho, 30% Fernao Pires, 30% Arinto
Twangy, tangy tropical and orchard fruits and creamy white peach well-knit into a stony mineral core; supremely refreshing and direct with a long spicy finish. Alc 13.5%

Uruguay

Bodega Garzón, Single Vineyard Albariño 2022

Gold, 95 points
Expressive on the nose, showing aromas of perfumed limes and lemons, with notes of peaches, apple skin and ripe pineapple. Saline palate, textural, with a mineral finish. Alc 12.5%


Search all DWWA 2023 results


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