I’m suffering from World Cup withdrawal, and am doing my best to cheer myself up with the Tour de France. With most of the big names out before the start, and my tip for glory, Alejandro Valverde, quitting after breaking his collarbone (wimp!), the field is wide open.
Today’s stage winner was Oscar Freire so it’s time for a Spanish wine – a Sainsbury’s ‘Taste The Difference’ Albarino 2005. The guys who made the wine may protest, the Galician’s don’t all see themselves as Spanish, and are campaigning for independence.
I cycled through Galicia in 2003 on the Camino de Santiago and really developed a taste for Albarino. It’s made from the same grape as Vinho Verde just over the border in Portugal, but it’s a very different wine. Galicia is a lot like Wales, both in geography and weather conditions, it rains, it’s cool and damp, and then it rains some more. This tends to result in thick skinned grapes and that in turn adds a good bit of structure and aroma. Enough of the background, I’m getting thirsty.
The wine comes in a handy screwtop bottle, it’s a pale yellow with good legs. It smells fresh and fruity. There’s a hint of nuts with lots of citrus aromas and some peach and nectarine.
It’s dry with a crisp acidity. It has a surprisingly full body for a white wine, and real depth of flavour with almonds, peaches, lemons and melons. The nuttiness builds in the mouth, making it a long and enjoyable drink. At 12.5% is smack in the middle of the alcohol range, and it’s wonderfully balanced.
This Albarino would go wonderfully well with seafood, particularly if you can get some of the fabulous seafood from Galicia, even post Prestige.
At around £6 depending on the special offers at Sainsbury’s this is great value, and an excellent way to break a Chardonnay/Sauvignon/Pinot Grigio habit.