Saturday, June 07, 2014

Old Westminster Albarino 2013 - A Splash of the Exotic in Maryland

According to Wikipedia, "Albariño (Galician pronunciation: [alβaˈɾiːɲo]) or Alvarinho (Portuguese: [aɫvaˈɾiɲu]) is a variety of white wine grape grown in Galicia (northwest Spain), where it is used to make varietal white wines. Albariño is actually the Galician name for the grape. In Portugal it is known as Alvarinho, and sometimes as Cainho Branco."

"It was presumably brought to Iberia by Cluny monks in the twelfth century. Its name "Alba-Riño" means "the white [wine] from the Rhine" and it has locally been thought to be a Riesling clone originating from the Alsace region of France, although earliest known records of Riesling as a grape variety date from the 15th, rather than the 12th, century. It is also theorized that the grape is a close relative of the French grape Petit Manseng."

Suffice to say, there are two things you should know: 1.I am a huge fan of Old Westminster! Unabashedly so. 2. There are not many Albarinos made on the east coast, and it's one of my favorite white varietal wines.

The three principals of Old Westminster Winery: Baker siblings Drew, Lisa Hinton and Ashli. In addition to managing their 7,600 estate vines, they work closely with regional winegrowers to source grapes such as Cabernet Franc  from a vineyard on a silty-clay bank of the Monocacy River and Chardonnay from a vineyard perched atop a sandy bank overlooking the Chester River. Old Westminster believes these relationships allow them to craft wines that reflect their region’s unique geology and mesoclimates. More importantly, while still a fairly new winery, they have wowed discerning palates up and down the east coast.

The Albarino, however, is among their first among a new slew of releases of estate grown wines. They also have a popular new Rose' and an estate Chardonnay.

For those who are curious about the Old Westminster's Albarino 2012, the wine is highly aromatic, somewhat akin to Viognier and Petit Manseng, both of which are popularly grown in Virginia, but the taste is much more akin to Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. This light, brisk, almost clear wine has big whiffs of apricot and peach and tropical fruits that abound. Zippy and refreshing, it abounds with acidity that keeps it super, A wonderful food wine.

Fantastic. Another winner from Old Westminster! Amazing!

Congrats to the Bakers!!!