When in Galicia recently, I made an effort to taste as many Albariños as I could, particularly those from the Rias Baixas sub-region. In tasting through these wines, I was interested to note the diversity of styles applied to the variety, with many houses having a simply made wine followed by one or more labels with more winemaking input, in particular techniques like barrel fermentation and extended lees contact. Although some such wines I tried had lost their varietal definition, I was pleasantly surprised by how well Albariño can stand up to a fair bit of manipulation and still retain its flavour, structure and impact.
This wine, made by the ubiquitous Martín Códax co-operative, sees a period of oak ageing and lees stirring before it is finished off in stainless steel. Compared to a simply made Albariño, this has immediately evident yet measured barrel-derived aromas akin to vanilla and almond. As one might imagine, these mesh superbly with fruit-driven notes of melon and stonefruit. The aroma is highly expressive and well balanced, with a lovely rich vibe.
In the mouth, predictably full and round, owing to both variety and winemaking. Its flavours are quite complex; more vanilla, nuts and stonefruit; with texture becoming a dominant feature through the after palate. It’s reasonably, if not overwhelmingly, concentrated. Rather than all-out impact, though, this wine is about rich flavours that lend the wine a luscious, generous feel without heaviness. Nicely judged in the winery, and quite delicious to drink.
Price: €24 (wine list)