My Favorite White Wines this Summer are from DO Rías Baixas | Albariño

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Albariño from DO Rías Baixas of Galicia, Spain.

Rías Baixas is Galician for “Lower Rias,” and refers to four estuaries – Ría de Muros y Noia, the Ría de Arousa, the Ría de Pontevedra, and the Ría de Vigo – located on the southwestern coast of Galicia, Spain.

This region of Spain is often referred to as "green Spain" because the area is cooled by the Atlantic ocean, it is greener than the rest of Spain. The region accumulates around 2,200 growing degree days for ripening the perfect Albariño.

I find something compelling about Albariño from green Spain. It's that bright acidity, often with minerality and flavors of citrus to stone fruit, and especially, the essence of the salty sea. When I have the opportunity to enjoy a bottle of Albariño from Rías Baixas, I am expecting to experience a hint of that Atlantic ocean breeze, either on the palate or on the nose.

Many thanks to snooth.com for inviting me to enjoy my favorite wine of summer. Albariño wines of DO Rías Baixas. These are benchmark wines for me, and show me how Albariño "should" taste. When I taste Albariño from Washington state, I am always comparing those wines to the ones I know from Galicia.

Today I am pleased to share with you four delicious examples of Albariño from Rias Baixas...don't worry, I will have reviews of more Albariño wines to share with you. Let's begin.

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Earliest Memories

My favorite, earliest memories are of my grandmother and the summers my brother and I spent together at her beach apartment in Moclips, Washington. For a time, she lived on the edge of the Pacific ocean. Summers, our front yard was the beach and the Pacific.


My brother and I loved running on the sandy shore, whooping and looping along the surf and waves. Searching for shells, sand dollars and any sea creatures washed ashore. And always, the compelling smell of the sea. I adore and cherish the salty smell of the Ocean. The ocean shore is my favorite place to be... the smell and taste of Albariño from Galicia takes me back to those memories.

"Albariño is where it's at!"

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Map of DO Rías Baixas.


While twelve grape varieties are permitted in DO Rías Baixas, the white Albariño grape represents 96% of all plantings. Albariño refreshes as a drinking wine and appeals to diverse cuisine. Albariño from Galicia delivers for me on many levels. Bright acidity, refreshing citrus flavors and that compelling salinity which intrigues, satisfies, and returns me to my favorite memories. Let's explore four wines from two different sub-zones.


Three wines from Condado do Tea
and one from Val do Salnés 

“The County of Tea” is named after the river Tea, a tributary of the Miño River. Located in a fairly mountainous area along the Miño, this is the second largest sub-region. The most inland, it is a warmer, drier area, with an average temperature of 59º F that can soar to 104º F during the summer. Soils contain granite and slate.


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1. 2017 Bodegas As Laxas - SRP: $18
Strongly Recommended

Day 1: Very pretty at open. An easy drinking wine.

Dry and crisp. Tastes fresh, minerality, texture, like acidic lime, white pepper, super salinity into the finish. Nice tingle under the lips, focused, creamy, very tasty. Winery opened in 1986 one of the first wineries in the DO. "Albariño is where it's at!"

Day 2: Minerality, river rock, stone fruit, peachy, pretty, medium minus intensity.

Creamy, salinity, petrol, medium intensity, almost tart, moderate ocean salinity, stone fruit to apple, with lime on medium finish. Very drinkable.

Even more delicious on day three.

Day 3: drink me, drink me, drink me. Good advice.

Thoughts: Drink me, drink me, drink me!

Winemaking

Following an optimum blooming after a dry, mild winter, the light August rains delayed the intermediate stage of ripening. A September with no rainfall led to a perfect, balanced final growth of the grape. Starting from perfectly ripe grapes in their ideal state, exclusively from the sub-area of the Condado do Tea, meticulous pressing for an excellent quality must. Fermentation in stainless.

Country: Spain
Region: Rías Baixas
Sub-Zone: Condado do Tea
ABV: 12.5%
SRP: $18

BODEGAS AS LAXAS, S.A.               
As Laxas, 16   36430 Arbo (Pontevedra) España           
Tel. +34 986 665 444
www.bodegasaslaxas.com                                                                                export@bodegasaslaxas.com



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2. 2017 Señorío de Rubiós Robaliño - SRP: $18
Highly Recommended (with food)

Day 1: Lifted, salty on nose, light, zesty, lime, fleshy melon, with salinity, some funk on finish.

Wine with character. Light mid-palate. Kind of tart. Skin contact? Wants food for me. More gold than greenish. We talked about how Albariño parallels the Riesling ripening arc from citrus, to stone fruit to tropical but with a warmer body.

Pairing: Wonderful with grilled shrimp. This is what it's about! Yum!

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Beautiful pairing with 2017 Señorío de Rubiós Robaliño.


Day 2: Stone fruit, melon, fresh, minerality, salinity on nose, medium intensity. Medium plus body, crisp, creamy, medium plus intensity, peach, melon, white flower, chamomile, intense salinity, tingle on tongue, lime on zesty, medium finish. Very good. Tasty sipper, pair with food needing a hit of salt and lime like watermelon, vegetables, and seafood. Enjoyed sipping while watching the sun set.

2017 Señorío de Rubiós Robaliño and sunset.

Day 3: Fresh and crisp, with peach and lemon-ocean. Yum! Love the ocean. So enjoyed this wine.

Thoughts: Fantastic wine. Wonderful alone and also excellent with grilled shrimp. Drank beautifully over three days!

About

Established in 2003, Señorío de Rubios currently has 105 partners working together to combine traditional and modern values and techniques in their winemaking. The Miño River runs through Señorío de Rubiós in the Condado do Tea sub-zone of Rías Baixas.

Señorío de Rubiós produces a unique mix of white, red and sparkling wines in DO Rías Baixas.

Country: Spain
Region: Rías Baixas
Sub-Zone: Condado do Tea
ABV: 12.5%
SRP: $18

Contact: Natalia Rodríguez Álvarez
Title: Export manager
Address: Bouza do Rato s/n – Rubiós
City: As Neves
Country: Spain
Zip: 36449
Year of Foundation: 2003
Vineyard Size: 210 Acres

www.srubios.com
Phone: +34 986 667 212
Fax: +34 986 648 279





3. 2016 Fillaboa - SRP: $20
Highly Recommended



Bodegas Fillaboa is a stunning, historic estate that only produces limited-edition, small-production 100% Albariño wines. Fillaboa, which means "good daughter" in Galician, is the biggest estate on the property register of Pontevedra and one of the oldest in Galicia. 

Day 1: Rich wine. Stone fruit and spice on the nose. Smells of the ocean. Tastes of almost sweet fruit, white grapes, with salinity. Yellow peach, kumquat, verbena. Melon on finish too. Lovely.

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Watermelon perfect pairing with 2017 Fillaboa Albariño.


Pairing: Saltiness of the wine matched beautifully with watermelon. Lovely. 

"The next time I visit the ocean, I need to bring some watermelon. Just to recreate this taste." Me.

Day 2: Alfalfa, melon funk, spice, minerality, medium minus intensity, cinnamon apple. Medium body, cinnamon, apple, creaminess, dry, textured, tart, lime zest, gentle salinity on finish. Exotic, very dry, wants seafood, would be good with unsalted fruits and vegetables which pair with salt and lime. Very interesting wine.

Day 6: Still very good, enjoyed with book and sunset.

Thoughts: I'm serious about that walking on the beach while eating watermelon. Loved the watermelon pairing with this wine. You must experience this!

About

Fantastic property on rolling slopes, adjoining the Tea and Miño rivers, bordering Portugal. Warm region, which in 2016 suffered drought.

Bodegas Fillaboa is one of the only wineries in Rías Baixas that makes its wines from 100% estate-owned fruit. The winery is part of the “Grandes Pagos de España,” or “Great Estates of Spain,” an esteemed wine-growing association that promotes the culture of estate-grown wines.

The Fillaboa estate is one of the oldest in Galicia and due to its heritage, the winery strives to preserve its integrated agriculture by collaborating with a program called ‘Environmental Practices,’ run by the local Galician government.  Environmental Practices seeks to ensure environmentally-friendly viticulture among all of its member wineries in Rías Baixas.

Winery: Bodega Fillaboa
Winemaker: Isabel Salgado
Country: Spain
Region: Rías Baixas
Sub-Zone: Condado do Tea
Fermented in stainless.
Aged on the lees until bottling (builds up the wine).
ABV: 13%
SRP: $20

Contact: Alberto Hernández Torío
Title: Export area manager
Address: Lugar de Fillaboa
City: Salvaterra de Miño
Country: Spain
Zip: 36459
Year of Foundation: 1988
Vineyard Size: 172.9 Acres
Phone: +34 986 658 132
Fax: +34 986 664 212
Website: www.bodegasfillaboa.com



Wine from the Val do Salnés sub-zone




4. 2017 Nai e Señora (Val do Salnés) - SRP: $16
Strongly Recommended

Nai  (Galician for “Mother”) is a tribute to both the origin of Albariño and 21st-century women. It accommodates the new generation’s preferences while remaining faithful to the Albariño grape.
“Nai e Señora” (Mother and Lady) is the expression poets in the early 20th century used to pay homage to working women who guaranteed the independence of the family and the Galician society and their motherland: Galicia.

Day 1: Perfumed, fleshy stone fruit, evergreen/mint, minerality, crisp and zesty, citrus, dry, textured, stone fruit on finish.

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2017 Nai e Señora on day two, so my speed.


Day 2. Focused, appealing quality, fresh minerality, nectarines, hint of salinity, inviting, medium minus intensity. Salty, white peach, crisp, dry, textured, lemon-lime with pith, minerality, melon and white pepper into medium finish. Wine had an appealing quality, perfect for a hot day, seafood, watermelon salad, crab, mussels, #my speed.

Thoughts: Pretty label with cool back story. Enjoyed best on day two. Especially excellent with grilled shrimp. Think fresh seafood with this wine. 

Winery: Terra de Asorei
Winemaker: Jorge Hervella
Country: Spain
Region: Rías Baixas
Sub-Zone: Val do Salnés
Soil: Clay and rocky with pink granite
Fermented in stainless, 21 day maceration
ABV: 12.5%
SRP: $16

The winery is located in the Salnés Valley, in the city of Meis. Capacity of production is up to 400,000 bottles. A 60-hectares vineyard, with vines from 80 to 20 years old.

The vineyards are located in the Salnés Valley, in the Rías Baixas region, one of the main tourist areas of Galicia, with a climate influenced by the Atlantic ocean. Mild temperatures and abundant rainfall without excesses. The Salnés Valley is located on the left bank of the estuary of Arousa.

Adegas Terra de Asorei SL
Autovía do Salnés (Salida 7) - San Martiño
36637 Meis - Pontevedra - Galicia (España)
Telephone: +34 986 680 868
E-mail: info@terradeasorei.com




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These four wines made me even more of a fan of DO Rías Baixas and Albariño. Top of my must visit places on my long list of must visit wine regions.

Many thanks again to snooth.com for inviting me to participate in this Rías Baixas Wines Albariño tasting. And heartfelt thanks to the participating wineries for sharing these beautiful wines.

I have more notes to write and photos to share about Albariño wines.

Cheers!

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