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Condes de Albarei Albarino 2012

Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
  • D92
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Winemaker Notes

From the cool "green" coast of Spain's northwest, Condes de Albarei Albariño is a complex blend of flavors that fits perfectly with the modern American lifestyle. Made from 100% Albarino, this wine has a rich, vibrant mouth feel with aromas of tropical fruit, citrus and melons and a juicy, slightly mineral finish. It is the ultimate shellfish, seafood or cocktail wine.

Critical Acclaim

D 92
Decanter

Very salty and tight, lovely texture, very fine and elegant with good structure; pure, long, with a typical bitter edge to the finish which adds bite.

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Condes de Albarei

Condes de Albarei

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Condes de Albarei, , Spain
Condes de Albarei
Adega Condes de Albarei is located in the valley known as O Salnès, in the heart of D.O. Rias Baixas. It is two kilometers away from Cambados, in the province of “Galicia.” Galicia is one of the oldest areas in Spain, settled originally by the Celts. Considered by many experts to be the most prestigious white-wine producing region of Spain today, D.O. Rias Baixas has produced wine for centuries; though its renaissance owes much to the modernization of winemaking that has taken place over the last 15 years.

Founded in 1988 (the same year the D.O. Rias Baixas was officially granted its charter), Adega Condes de Albarei is a cooperative of 362 grower/owners. The winery is equipped with the most advanced technological equipment available. In a region where the average producer yields less than 4,000 cases annually, this winery is not only one of the largest at approximately 90,000 cases, but considered among the highest quality-producers in the entire region. The principal label is the Condes de Albarei Albariño, the first white wine from Spain to earn a gold medal at Vinexpo. In 1998, they received a second gold medal at Vinexpo.

Famous for its food-friendly, approachable wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This sub-zone of Tuscany has it all—sweeping views of undulating hills, the hot Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine, and a rich artistic heritage. Historically packaged in short, round, straw-covered bottles known as “fiaschi” and containing insipid red liquid, Chianti today is typically not your Italian grandfather’s pizza wine. The heart of the Chianti zone is known as Chianti Classico, as the region has expanded its boundaries over time to capitalize on the wine’s fame, thus diluting its reputation. Within Chianti there are seven other subzones with unique characteristics, including Colli Senesi, Colli Fiorentini, and Chianti Rufina.

Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 20% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Mammolo, and Marzemino, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah have also been approved in more recent years. Basic, inexpensive Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner involving red sauce. At its apex, it is savory and rustic with high acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, salami, balsamic vinegar, and smoky tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

YNG511424_2012 Item# 125874

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