Albariño, as it’s referred to in Galicia (northwestern Spain), or Alvarinho as it’s called in Portugal’s northern Vinho Verde DOC, is a white grape enjoying a renaissance of sorts amongst those looking for something new and unusual to drink.
Galicia encompasses Rias Baixas and Ribeiro along with a few other DOs and it’s here where the Albariño grape is grown – in cool, damp vineyards affected significantly by the maritime influence of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s frequently blended with Treixadura (aka Trincadero) and Caino Blanco; the O Rosal is no exception and is a blend of 70 Albariño, 18 Loureiro and 12 Caino Blanco.
Albariño produces distinct white wines that used to be lighter but recently have been made with more body and deeper colour. They also have higher than average alcohol (usually around 13%). Both of these attributes make them popular with those tired of the ubiquitous and innocuous Pinot Grigios available. Some are oak aged as well.
Galicia has been undergoing a wine revival with the rebirth of traditional winemaking techniques combined with modern vinicultural methods. The wines are very popular with consumers and as such are able to attract strong pricing.
The Terras Gauda O Rosal is clear and bright, medium gold and has legs. On the nose it’s clean and youthful with medium intensity and aromas of minerals, stone fruit (nectarine) and citrus (lemon drop and white grapefruit).
The palate is dry with medium alcohol and great acidity. The flavours include more stone fruit (nectarine, white peach), citrus (pomelo, baked grapefruit and lemon zest) and ginger spice.
This wine is WSET Very Good – solid acidity and finish complement the fuller than average body, concentrated fruit and aromas and lovely finish. Drink now; has potential for ageing.