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Young is fun, but Albariño can do grown-up style too

Once wines to bottle quick and drink young, the use of lees ageing sets Albariño up nicely for the slow development of more complex characteristics

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Our wine expert's pick of lees-aged Albariño

Our wine expert's pick of lees-aged Albariño

Sacabeira Albariño 2018

Sacabeira Albariño 2018

Paco & Lola Prime Albariño Lias 2017

Paco & Lola Prime Albariño Lias 2017

Botanica Flower Girl Albariño 2020

Botanica Flower Girl Albariño 2020

Garzon Albariño Reserve 2021

Garzon Albariño Reserve 2021

Albamar Finca O’Pereiro 2017

Albamar Finca O’Pereiro 2017

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Our wine expert's pick of lees-aged Albariño

Look closely at the label of our wine of the week and you can spot a sacabeira (salamander) scuttling for cover. This little fella used to be a regular sight throughout the vineyards of the Rías Baixas wine region, up in the damp Atlantic-washed corner of green Galicia in north-west Spain. Today, the sacabeira only frequents the cleanest, healthiest vineyards that are free of chemicals and pollution — so winemaker Iria Otero is proud to call him a resident at the cool maritime Val d o Salnés vineyards that produce her Sacabeira Albariño.

Traditionally, most of the region’s vineyards were teensy smallholding plots that doubled up as domestic vegetable patches shaded by vine-covered pergolas. Having researched a doctorate on how the cultivation of the Albariño vine impacts its grapes’ composition and aromas, Otero opts for that traditional pergola approach (though without the cabbage underneath). She also makes more traditional choices in the handling of those grapes, such as fermenting with whole clusters and ambient yeasts before extended ageing on fine lees (particles of dead yeast) for added textural complexity and richness.


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