Most Wanted: Albariño
Rias Baixas, Spain
Sainsburys, The Co-Op
Bronze Medal: International Wine Challenge (2015 vintage).
Spur of the moment purchases can sometimes deal an unexpected and quite delightful surprise. Casually browsing the shelf in Sainsburys, spotting a reduction in price (combined with an additional 25% discount for purchases of 6 bottles or more) along with an IWC medal prominently displayed on the label, my arm instinctively reached out and snaffled a bottle.
It is a decision I did not live to regret, having indulged in a number of additional bottles since making this fortuitous discovery. The first mouthful tells you everything you need to know. Crisp, vibrant and overwhelming impression of summer fruit but built on a tingling, crunchy minerality, the steely hand inside the velvet glove. It creates a lasting impression on the tongue which you need to take time to savour; let it dissolve and dissipate before broaching the second mouthful.
Unlike the sharp cut grass taste you often association with a good Sauvignon Blanc, the Albariño is a little more restrained with stronger floral notes of peach, orange offset with a lemony edge to give it zing. It makes a wonderful alternative to the Sauvignon Blanc and at this price, well worth an experimental indulgence.