Licia Albarino 2009
Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
Straw yellow with greenish hues, the Lícia Albariño has strong varietal characteristics with hints of citrus, such as grapefruit, candied fruit and quince jelly, along with notes of fresh herbs, green apples and minerals. It is full-bodied and well-balanced, highlighting the aromas of citrus and green apple. With a long and persistent finish, this wine pairs well with grilled fish, any kind of seafood, rice dishes, salads and vegetables.
International Wine Cellar - "Light gold. Melon and white peach on the nose, with hints of white flowers and honey adding complexity. Juicy honeydew and pit fruit flavors are appealingly open-knit, with a touch of lemon zest providing lift. Finishes with a touch of bitterness, the lemon note repeating."
The Lícia label is a project between Winebow and winery owner Jose Limeres, a native of the Galician town of Pontevedra. Limeres, owner of several successful restaurants in Madrid, entered the wine business when he was searching for a reliable supplier of quality wines for his restaurants. He bought his first property in O Rosal and planted native varieties that flourished in its unique climate and soil. The resulting wines proved a hit, particularly his Albariño which strikes just the right balance of sugar and acidity. The vineyards for Lícia's wine are located in the O Rosal and Condado de Tea subzones of DO Rías Baixas. The vineyards of O Rosal run inland as far as Tuy and are terraced into the sides of the River Miño where it opens into a wide estuary. The topsoil is correspondingly alluvial, with clay and sand over granitic topsoil. Condado de Tea stretches from Tuy along the Miño Valley to meet the Ribiero DO. The area is made up of complex small river valleys. Here granite bedrock and slate come to the surface. This combination of terroirs gives Lícia a refreshing complexity that sets it apart. View all Licia Wines
About Rias BaixasView a map of Rias Baixas wineries (REE-ez BUY-shuss) Spain's prominent white wine region. Situated in Galacia, the region is wet and rainy with some large temperature changes due to its proximity to the coast. The main grape of note here is Albarino, the white variety known for creating fragrant and fruity wines perfect for seafood. The bottles are easily recognized as they all print “Albarino” on their label.
Notable FactsThere are sub-districts in Rias Baixas, a few of them are more prone to blending Albarino with some other indigenous grapes, which can make the wines more aromatic or fuller-bodied. Both single variety Albarino and blended wines excel in this area. Aromatic and light, one whiff of these whites may bring thoughts of a Sauvignon Blanc, but after one sip the creamy texture says otherwise. Typical aromas and flavors are peach, honeysuckle, lime and vanilla.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.