If there's justice, which is dubious, one day Albariño will have its soul and nature returned to it, and will cease to be this plump mouthed injectable creation it has become.
A similar body-snatching happened with Beaujolais when wine writers (many who should know better) started to perpetuate the myth that the grapes natural characteristics included banana aromatics. So, many will be just as gullible to continue to propel this fallacy into the future unless we all stomp our feet and say, no no no!
Here's the bit of a press release that put me in a holiday snit.
"Albariño has a unique flavor and a natural acidity (SO MUCH THAT MOST IMPLEMENT ACID REDUCTION) with a clean finish. The wine is often described as expressive, with peach and apricot notes, or crisp and refreshing, with intense fruit flavors, such as green apples and lemon zest. Albariño complements a variety of party favorites, such as bruschetta, baked brie (WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD A BAKED BRIE?), soups and chowders, ham, fruit cake, (FRUIT CAKE?? SWEETS? WHAT? THIS IS SOMEONE'S IDEA OF A BAD JOKE FOR WINE/FOOD PAIRINGS?) tarts and apple crisp.
About Albariño from Spain
Albariño (al-ba-ree-nyo) is a white grape varietal grown in the D.O. (Denomination of Origin) of Rías Baixas, located in Galicia on Spain's Northwest coast. Accounting for 90 percent of all plantings in Rías Baixas, Albariño wine has been likened to a Riesling for its minerality and bracing acidity; to a Viognier, because of its fleshiness (FLESHY? HOW MUCH GUM ARABIC IS GOING INTO YOUR ALBARINO?)and peach/apricot character.
What do I think Albarino is? High acid, lemon pith and peel and some orange, some times some green almond and sometimes a touch of cream. The nose is compelling, I stretch up on my toes for some descriptors, but the best I can do is spring right before zero summer.
Here are two renegades who do the wines justice.
BENITOS SANTOS (between $12-$18)
2008 Albarino Sair: lemon, acid, profound nose, wool and honey perfume.
2006 Albarino Pago de Bemil: round, deep, honey, acidity out of yummy control, salty.
2007 Albarino Pago de Xoan: more acid freaky stuff with wool and lemon, a little closed but still sings.
*PEDRALONGA (between $30-$80)
2007 Albarno Barrica-acid sneaks up on you and wraps around the estony meyer lemon.
2005 Vendetta: You might faint at the sight of the bottle price but these Vendettas are serious business and almost like a vendetta against the crap albarinos out there as if to say, fuck you guys. This is important. Listen up. The honey suckle here is what gets me.
2006 Vendetta: I have a slight preference for the 06, seems to have more depth with a touch of hazel nut, lower aromatics yet increased layers of complexity.