Torres Pazo das Bruxas Albarino 2017
An excellent aperitif. Good with raw, cooked or grilled seafood. Pairs perfectlywith mild white fish, and its lively palate strikes a perfect balance with softgoat cheeses.
The Torres family has been related to wine since the 17th century when their ancestors first planted vines in the Penedès, a winegrowing region dating to the days of the Phoenicians. Founded in 1870, Bodegas Torres has preserved family ownership of the company while diligently combining tradition and innovation.
For five generations, Torres has been a leader in the Spanish wine industry with properties in the top regions including Catalunya, Penedès, Priorat, Conca de Barberà, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Rueda, Campo de Borja, Rias Biaxas, Costers del Segre, Jumilla and Toro. The family’s dedication to wine quality and producing wines that reflect their origins has been recognized by leading media outlets throughout the world. From traditional wines such as Sangre de Toro celebrating its 60th vintage to the legendary single vineyard wine Mas La Plana, Torres’ broad diversity of vineyards allows selection of the best sites for each grape variety.
Named after the rías, or estuarine inlets, that flow as far as 20 miles inland, Rías Baixas is an Atlantic coastal region with a cool and wet maritime climate. The entire region claims soil based on granite bedrock, but the inlets create five subregions of slightly different growing environments for its prized white grape, Albariño.
Val do Salnés on the west coast is said to be the birthplace of Albariño; it is the coolest and wettest of all of the regions. Having been named as the original subregion, today it has the most area under vine and largest number of wineries.
Ribeira do Ulla in the north and inland along the Ulla River is the newest to be included. It is actually the birthplace of the Padrón pepper!
Soutomaior is the smallest region and is tucked up in the hills at the end of the inlet called Ria de Vigo. Its soils are light and sandy over granite.
O Rosal and Condado do Tea are the farthest south in Rías Baixas and their vineyards actually cover the northern slopes of the Miño River, facing the Vinho Verde region in Portugal on its southern bank.
Albariño gives this region its fame and covers 90% of the area under vine. Caiño blanco, Treixadura and Loureira as well as occasionally Torrontés and Godello are permitted in small amounts in blends with Albariño. Red grapes are not very popular but Mencía, Espadeiro and Caiño Tinto are permitted and grown.
Bright and aromatic with distinctive floral and fruity characteristics, Albariño has enjoyed a surge in popularity over the last couple of decades. This grape claims dual citizenship of both Spain (in the Rías Baixas region) and Portugal, where it is widely planted in the northwest and is known as Alvarinho. In recent years, plantings have increased throughout California.
In the Glass
Bursting with rich, ripe flavor, Albariño can show flavors of orange blossom, lime, pear, melon and white peach. It may also have notes of raw almond, freshly cut grass, jasmine or geranium. The best examples boast zingy acidity and often a briny, mineral quality. It is typically fermented in stainless steel to preserve purity of fruit, though oak-aged examples can provide a weighty yet refreshing alternative to Chardonnay with surprising potential for aging. Due to Albariño’s thick skins and large number of pips, it often shows a hint of attractive bitterness on the palate.
Albariño loves seafood, and can be paired with a variety of marine delicacies. Its distinctive waxy texture and lemony acidity make it a perfect pairing with fresh sardines, oysters, octopus or squid.
Albariño is considered an aromatic variety, and actually shares characteristics with Viognier, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Muscat. If you enjoy these elegantly perfumed whites, chances are you’ll love Albariño.