I thought I had cleared out all of the Albarino based wines in the tasting pile, but found this when I was looking for something to take to a Vietnamese joint down in Victoria Street, Richmond. Albarino really handles the spice and salt of many Asian style dishes really well, but its the seafood where it really struts its stuff. This blend of albarino, loureiro and treixadura works really well with fish dishes, especially fish with a sauce. Check out the 2004 write up for more details on the wine.
The nose opens with some excellent fruit: lemons, apples , pears and a touch of white peach. Impeccable balance and mouthfeel, its focused and driving on the palate with long finish that shows a touch of pepper, flint and lime. The palate is all apples, pears and lemons with some white pepper and kaffir lime leaves. This was magic with a whole steamed snapper with soy and ginger. 92 Pts.
Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $45 Closure: Conventional Cork
Other Vintages: 2004
This is the top level wine from Raventos i Blanc, well that is imported to Australia anyway. There are a couple of other top level wines in the range that don’t make it out here. Its a blend of the traditonal white cava grapes with 10% chardonay and 5% pinot noir. Aged for 36 months in bottle and available to drink just in time for Christmas. There is a nice little diagram on the back showing all the vineyards that go into making this wine.
A clean crisp nose of apples and lemons with freshly baked bread slathered with wild honey and some white flowers. Focused style cava, really fresh and balanced. Just the right amount of bubble. Apples lemon and limes in the mouth topped off by a long, creamy finish with a lime and orange sherbet tang. You have to watch yourself with this one, the bottle was gone within minutes. 93 Pts.
Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $55 Closure: Conventional Cork
This is a much loved wine for traditional Spanish wine drinkers. Its traditional, but bold and smooth with plenty of secondary characters. I'm lucky enough to have a few vintages in the cellar, mostly of dubious provenance from a passive cellar, but there have been a few great bottles. The 98 vintage wasn't one of the best of the 90s in Rioja, but the chaps at Muga have managed to pull of something worth drinking and cellaring.
A nice medium red colour with good intensity. The nose is very much old Rioja, tobacco, earth, caramel, mulberry and cherry with notes of menthol/pine needles, vanilla and dried flowers. Nicely medium bodied with good balance and refined tannins. Complex, but refreshing. The palate kicks off with mulberry, plum and cherry and adds some soft spice and vanilla. Good length with a pin prick of acid on the finish. The perfect introduction to quality Rioja Gran Reserva. 92+ Pts.
Source: Toro/Woods Wines Price: $90 Closure: Conventional Cork
I think this is the last Albariño in the tasting pile at the moment. I'll duck out and get some more over the Christmas break. This is the most fun albariño around, it has the most expressive albariño aromatic characters, doesn't break the bank and so easy to drink.
Castro Martin is made from estate owned vines in the Valle del Salnés, one of the coolest areas of Rias Brixas. Most vineyards in Rias Brixas are quite small family holdings with the grapes sold off to the bigger bodegas or as part of Co-Op. While its not unheard of for a bodega to make a wine solely from its own vines, it is seen to be an additional sign of quality within the region.
A light straw colour, with the trademark Castro Martin nose of white peach, jasmine and honeysuckle with some green lemony goodness. One of the things I love about Albariño is the mouth feel, and this doesn't disappoint. Slightly oily, but with just the right amount of acid to keep you mouth fresh and ready for more. This bottle is still a little, its showing tangy lemon and apple with a bit of melon. Fluffy white peach and musk sticks as it warms up a bit more. A bit of sage and lemons on the finish. 90 Pts.
Source: The Spanish Acquisition Cost: $30 Closure: Synthetic Cork
Other Vintages: 2004 2005
Albarino seems to be flavour of the month at the moment in Melbourne. The 06s have landed and just about every bar I walk into has one by the glass. Unfortunately, most are served way too cold and the punters must be walking away thinking that albariño is Spanish for riesling. Of course its not all bad, there are people on the ball. Bar Lourinha are doing a great job serving their albariño at about 10 degrees. You can always warm it up with your hands.
When I had a look at the 2005 of this wine in February, I didn't think much would top it. But the 06 is something else altogether. As with many of the other 2006 albariños I've tasted, this is more about the fruit. If its that minerally element that draws you to albariño, don't worry its still there supporting in a supporting role.
Big wack of white peach, apple and pear with some honey suckle on the nose. Bit of lemon and spice shows up as the wine gets warmer. Luxury mouthfeel, well balanced and just the right amount of everything, good length, tangy and complex but fresh. More white peach and pear on the back palate, with apple up front. As it warms up a touch of ginger and lemon oil with some sweet kaffir lime/orange on the finish. A flinty, minerally note is shot through the wine, that makes the whole thing that much more interesting. One of the most intriguing white wines I've had from Spain. Ever. 94 Pts.
Source: Toro/Woods wines Price: Around $40 Closure: Conventional Cork
Other Vintages: 2005
The 2003 edition of this wine was a cracker, no doubts about it. The milder 2004 vintage hasn't been as generious, but Telmo has managed to produce a quailty wine none the less. The nose is great, almost a direct copy of the 03, but there are some serious tannins here. A bit lower in alcohol as well, 15% for the 2004.
Aromas of violets and finely integrated oak, raspberry and a touch of mulberry and mocha. Loads of finely grained tannins, started off a bit green to, this moved off with more air and was much better on the second night. Raspberry, pepper, anise, red been paste, with more air it develops a meaty quality. A long, but drying, finish shows some minerals. This needs 3 years in the cellar to come around and soften those monster tannins. 90 Pts.
Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $65 Closure: Conventional Cork
Other Vintages: 2003
Its been a bit quiet on the site of late, its a busy time of year. But I have a new load of wine to look at which includes a trio of newly arrived cavas that I looked at over the weekend. Given the 30 degree days we've had here in Melbourne, they were just thing to keep cool and calm. This wine kicked things off on Saturday, with two big hitters on Sunday.
The Vintage Reserva is always one of my favourites and the 2004 really hits the spot. Its a blend of 45% Macabeo, 35% Parellada and 20 % Xarel.lo. and sees 24 months on lees giving it a bit of extra complexity and ommpf.
A radiant pale gold in colour with good bead and an enticing nose of apple and lemon, toasty, yeasty bread and with a touch of melon. Its not as razor sharp as many cavas, a bit broader and complex in the mouth. For the most part the palate mirrors the nose, it shows some oxidative notes that adds complexity and creamy, lemon sherbet on the finish. Very enjoyable and well worth the asking price. 90 Pts.
Source: The Spanish Acquisition Cost: $39 Closure: Conventional Cork
Other Vintages: 2003