Spanish Wines for #SpanishLitMonth: Albariño from Galicia

Last summer I wrote about a couple of favourite Spanish white wines to tie in with Richard and Stu’s Spanish Lit Month: an unoaked Godello from Galicia and a Verdejo from the Rueda region. This year I thought I would focus on another favourite from Spain, wines made from the albariño grape variety grown in the Rías Baixas DO (Denominación de Origen) in Galicia, north-west Spain. Albariño wines taste of stone fruits, typically peaches, with a squeeze of lemon juice; sometimes there’s a slightly salty, mineral note from the sea air.

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Most of my favourite albariños tend to fall within the £12-£14 per bottle price range, but earlier this month I discovered a new one, slightly more modestly priced at £8.95 pb. It’s the Pazo de Villarei Albariño from the Salnés Valley in the heart of Rías Baixas. The Pazo de Villarei is textbook albariño: pure, clean and refreshing with plenty of lemony citrus flavour. This is an excellent introduction to the albariño grape, a wine that would suit lovers of unoaked white wines who are looking to branch out from Chablis, pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.

As far as food matches go, albariño is the perfect partner for simple seafood dishes, but there’s enough richness here to cope with slightly stronger Mediterranean flavours too (garlic and olives, for instance). Seared tuna, paella or seafood risotto would also make excellent matches.

Wine stockist: I bought my bottle of Pazo de Villarei Albariño, 2013 from The Wine Society, priced at £8.95 per bottle. (No longer available, but the 2014 vintage is in stock, priced £8.50.) Or you can check alternative stockists via wine-searcher.

For the record, my other favourite albariños are made by Pazo de Señorans and Palacio de Fefiñanes, both come highly recommended.

16 thoughts on “Spanish Wines for #SpanishLitMonth: Albariño from Galicia

    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Thanks, Jose. Yes, this one comes from the Val do Salnés sub-zone, which is right on the Atlantic coast. I’m not familiar with the two producers you’ve mentioned but will definitely check them out. It’s always good to have a personal recommendation or two!

      O Rosal is quite close to Portugal, isn’t it? I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it, but Quinta de Soalheiro produce a lovely Alvarinho. It’s another favourite of mine.

      Reply
  1. Scott W

    This has nothing to do with your excellent taste in wine, but every time I encounter “Rías Baixas” I automatically think it sounds like the name of a Javier Marías character.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Haha – I’m seeing Rías Baixas in a whole new light now!

      On the subject of Marías, have you noticed how several of his novels contain a woman named Luisa? They are different characters (at last I think they are), but their names are the same: In The Infatuations, the wife in the Perfect Couple is a Luisa; A Heart So White features another Luisa (Juan’s wife); and the unnamed narrator of All Souls is married to a woman named Luisa. There may be others in the novels I haven’t read yet. Also, I’m beginning to wonder if all these men are versions of Javier himself…

      Reply
  2. Bettina @ Books, Bikes, and Food

    Mmmm, this looks delicious! I also really like Verdejos. One of my particular favourites is one made by Protos. Tonight, I’m opening a white Marqués de Riscal. I had one years ago and it was fantastic. Let’s see how this one fares. ¡Salud!

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      It’s a good one for this time of year. I’m a fan of Verdejo, too. I’ve tried previous vintages of the Marqués de Riscal, and it’s a lovely wine. Hope you enjoy!

      Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Thanks, Brian. It’s just a bit of fun, but Richard and Stu’s Spanish Lit Month gave me a good hook to draw attention to a few favourite Spanish white wines! Let me know if you and your wife get a chance to try any of them, or if you have any recommendations of your own. It’s useful to exchange views on these things.

      Reply
  3. BookerTalk

    I’ve not heard of this grape variety – my knowledge of Spanish wine is limited to tempranillo and Rioja so thanks for giving me something else to go looking for

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      You’re very welcome. Spanish white wines have come a long way in recent years. Albariño is a great option if you like fresh, clean citrus flavours, and I find it a little less sharp (or less acidic) than something like sauvignon blanc.

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Pazo de Villarei Albariño, 2015 – a wine for #SpanishLitMonth | JacquiWine's Journal

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