The Albariño of Spain’s Rías Baixas was once a wine to drink young, but now it will last for a decade. What changed, asks Margaret Rand?
5 great buys from Rías Baixas
Bodegas Zarate, El Palomar Albariño 2012
Named after the dovecote in the vineyard, this was almost overbearing in its early youth but is settling down now. It’s fermented in a big old vat but there’s no oak flavour. Lots of structure and concentration. A searching wine, precise and detailed, with complexity.
Price: £23.10 Indigo Wines
Terras Gauda, La Mar Caíño Blanco 2011
No, not Albariño this one; instead one of the region’s rarer grape varieties. This is concentrated and muscular, with a touch of tannin, and huge character. A big, tight, salty, mineral wine.
Price: £27-£30 Harvey Nichols, Joseph Barnes, Les Caves de Pyrène
Bodegas del Palacio de Fefiñanes, Albariño 2013
Good ripe citrus fruit and no creaminess from malolactic. Pure, precise, nice weight, lovely elastic texture, salty, aromatic fruit, and plenty of character. Very expressive and graceful.
Price: £14.95-£17.99 Lupe Pinto, Martinez Fine Wines, The Wine Society, Waitrose
Condes de Albarei, Albariño 2012
Very salty and tight, lovely texture, very fine and elegant with good structure; pure, long, with a typical bitter edge to the finish which adds bite.
Price: £11.95 The Wine Reserve
Coto Redondo, Señorio de Rubios Albariño 2012
Salty and mineral nose and palate with very pure, ripe and aromatic fruit. Lovely balance and texture, and again, that nice bitter bite at the end.
Price: £10.75 Yorkshire Vintners