I developed a taste for Albariño in Galicia when I completed the Camino de Santiago by bike in 2003. It did give the wine an unfair advantage, being the drink I celebrated the fact that I no longer had to cycle every day during the hottest summer ever recorded in Europe, but I like to think it was just that it’s really good wine that’s flavoursome and refreshing.
The Martin Codax brand is a reliable source. They opt for a clean fresh varietal approach, no messing, no blending, no aging, no oaking. They ferment the wine, let it sit around in its own residue for a bit, bottle it and ship it. There’s sometimes the very slightest hint of pettilance, but that sits well with its acidity, bringing that citrus flavours to life, without overwhelming the soft green herbiness and sweet peachy goodness within.
The alcohol level is about 13% so it’s easy drinking and won’t knock your socks off if you want a second glass, or a third if you’ve been out on your bike all day, just don’t get back on the bike afterwards.
This wine has for me a very firm sense of place, it reflects the cooler shores of north west Spain, rather than the summer heat of Rioja and Navarra, it’s fresher, lighter, but just as good.
Majestic carry it for about £12, but it’s usually available on offer or in some sort of multibuy for £10.