Condes de Albarei Albariño 2005

Condes de Albarei Albarino 2005Albariño certainly seems to be popular at the moment. I'm not sure how its selling, but there are at least 8 very good wines available in Australia now, not bad for a white wine from Spain.  Condes de Albarei is a fairly old co-op of 400 growers with 170 hectares of Albariño in the Salnes Valley, from which they knock out 1.5 million bottles of Albarino a year.

It falls into the glass with a pale straw colour and shows off its aromatics very well.  Lots of floral notes of white peach, apple juice and a slight lemon juice wiff.  Crisp and tangy, but lightly oily at the sames.  Well balanced and full of flavour too : white peach and melon, a bit of minerally acid and lemon.  Great summer drinking.  88 Pts.

Source: Toro/Woods wines Price: Around $30 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.condesdealbarei.com

7 thoughts on “Condes de Albarei Albariño 2005

  1. This sounds worth a look. I just picked up some older Valminor albarino (2003), which will be interesting to compare to the 2004 and 2005 vintages. Also from auction some older bottles of straight mazuelo (1996), a bit of Alion and 1999 Pireneos moristel. It will be interesting to see what still has legs.

  2. Defininatley worth a look. I’ve a few 04 albarinos in the cellar to see how they go. I have had some 6 year old verdejo, turns out alright actually, honey and spice but still fresh.

  3. Except for Granbazan, the general consensus among the Galician producers (and I suspect the Portugeuese as well) is that albarino is less-suited to bottle aging than, say, chardonnay, and certainly riesling. My suspicion is that some of the florals will fall over and the palate will broaden out a bit. I drank some 2003 albarino (not from Valminor) last year that fell in this group, but I am prepared to find out otherwise. I think I have about eight different albarinos in the stash at the moment, and have been thinking about a taste off when I get organised. I have been drinking 2004 Valminor for two years or so now, and it is still lovely.

    Vintage is upon us here (and the hares and rabbits, teaming up with the wallabies and grasshoppers, all munching the baby albarino and tempranillo vines). At least the shiraz is looking cracking. What little Canberra-district shiraz there will be from 2007 could well be pretty special (low fruit set is common, putting aside the frosts).

  4. Paul, I think this is true for the most part, however there is a bit of trend in Spain to serve albariño at about 3 year from vintage. Mainly wine geeks are into it.

    How are your plantings going?

  5. Thanks for that. The plantings are OK, though a lot of pressure from things munching on the albarino (the wallabies are the latest hungry visitors). I regret not going big on full height guards. The tempranillo are rollicking along, even in the dry, with some vines getting a bit of early leaf colour, which I’m hoping isn’t a foretaste of any leaf roll.

    We took 8 tonnes of sav blanc off yesterday, most of which went to two other local wineries who were hammered by the frosts. The two pinot blocks were at 12.5 and 12.3 baume as of last Friday, though still tasting green and lacking flavour development. We’ll whack some water on them to see if we can prolong the ripening through some cooler days. The 2006 pinot is soon to go into bottle, and tasting good, so I’m hoping to avoid a disappointing follow-up, though hot and early vintages make it hard.

    The shiraz has set lightly (common across much of the district), I suspect due to wind we had at flowering. There’s looseness in the shiraz bunches, but no hen and chicken and berry sizes are good, so we’ll have lower average bunch weights but some good fruit concentration. We’ll supply some shiraz to a local winery that the frost knocked, hopefully still with enough good fruit to get some in early as red sparkles base wine and the rest for the standard shiraz. The base wine for red bubbles from the 2006 vintage is still in barrel and came off at 12 baume yet ripe, which has made for some elegant gear that should do well in tirage bottling.

    My Spain-crazy plan is to do a bit of an experimental bottling of a bit of the red bubbles using some touriga nacionale (table wine) as a small blending component. The rough theory is that this will help build some persistent florals into the nose of the sparkling red, beyond what I often find are muted shiraz characters, or waiting for the mushroomy notes from long lees and bottle aging. It may not work, but it will be a fun experiment.

  6. Had a few older albariños which were fairly yacky at best. Lost all their crispness/acidity which for me is their best feature. Best ones I have had are 1-2 years from vintage.

    Having said that, the odd older barrel fermented style has been interesting and better than I expected. I thought this would be similar heresy to putting Australian riesling in wood, but seemingly not!

    Cheers

    Dave

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