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Friday, October 7, 2011

RIAS BAIXAS ALBARINO WINES are "OFF THE CHART" by Philip S. Kampe

Recently, WINES FROM SPAIN presented their 18th Annual 'GREAT MATCH' Celebration in New York City, featuring over 250 wines from Spain's Denomination of Origin (DO) regions.

The native SPANISH VARIETALS I sampled at the 'GREAT MATCH' included:
ALBARINO
CARINENA
GARNACHA
GODELLO
MACABEO
MENCIA
MONASTRELL
PEDRO XIMENEZ
TEMPRANILLO
VERDEJO
XAREL.LO

I sampled well over TWO HUNDRED Different Wines and kept returning, every hour or so, to the Wines from the RIAS BAIXAS region. There are many reasons why the grape from the region, ALBARINO, is like a magnet, attracting the consumer with it's distinctive structure, rich aromatics, fruit intensity and long, dry crispness.

RIAS BAIXAS is home to "ALBARINO" Wines.

FACTS about RIAS BAIXAS:
+ Rias Baixas is a region in GALICIA
+ The region is located in Northwest Spain
+ The region is directly above (north) Portugal
+ Located on the ATLANTIC Seacoast
+ The word "RIAS' means Estuaries
+ RIAS BAIXAS means Lower Estuaries
+ RIAS BAIXAS is home to the most important Wine Denomination of Origin(DO) in Galicia
+ ALBARINO is the white grape variety of RIAS BAIXAS
+ ALBARINO is traditionally made to drink young, upon release
+ 99% of the wines from RIAS BAIXAS are White
+ Each bottle of ALBARINO has a Quality Control Sticker Guaranteeing it Authenticity

I sampled a DOZEN wines from the region and found each one different from the previous sample. Obviously each producer creates his own style due to their unique 'terroir' and individual wine making philosophy.

Generally, the wines made with the ALBARINO grape are CRISP and refreshing. CITRUS prevails on the nose, while intense FRUIT and MINERAL overtones cross the palate. ALL of the wines tend to have a long, lively finish, making you ask for more.

ALBARINO is much more than a summer wine like new Zealand's Sauvignon Blanc. It is a food wine, as well--and I don't mean just SEAFOOD. The wine pairs well with Asian and Mexican cuisine, medium-bodied cheese, veal, chicken and ham. Moderate alcohol content with lively acidity and mineral overtones make ALBARINO a PERFECT FOOD Wine.

ALBARINO Wine Suggestions under $20:

TOREE la MOREIRA ALBARINO 2010 ($16.99)
Producer: Bodegas Marques de Vizhoja
Straw yellow, intense aromas, lively acidity with a lingering finish.

ZIOS ALBARINO 2010 ($14.99)
Producer; Pazos de Lusco
Well balanced,clean and fresh. Intense white fruit dominates the nose followed by a pleasent,grassy, bitterness on the palate.

SANTIAGO RUIZ 2010 ($19.99)
Producer: Santiago Ruiz
Santiago Ruiz is known as the 'Father of Albarino'. His winery dates back to 1860.
The wine is made from 70% Albarino, 15% Louerio, 10% Treixadura and 5% White Cano and Gordello. CITRUS dominates the palate with a FLORAL finish. Santiago Ruiz Albarino is well balanced, bright and refreshing.

BURGANS ALBARINO 2010 ($14.99)
Bodegas Martin Codax
Crisp,elegant, dry with aromas and flavors of green apples, pears and passion fruit.High acidity and a long finish create a well-balanced wine.

To learn more about the WINES from RIAS BAIXAS visit your local wine merchant or visit: www.RiasBaixasWines.com

PHILIP S. KAMPE
philip.kampe@thewinehub.com










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