Browse Tag



Tangent 2010 Albariño (Edna Valley) – Tired of my grumping and grumbling about New World wines, the brave few who are actually willing to hear more of the tiresome lecture are sometimes moved to ask what I’d change. One of the things I always mention is that there’s a really wide world of grapes out there, suitable for all different soils and climates, and that I think there’s a lot of (say) pinot noir planted where something like nero d’avola might be more at home. The luxury of saying this, of course, relies on not having to sell something like nero d’avola to a public that loves pinot noir. In any case, I’m pleased to report that even though such wines are little more than a rumor on the East Coast, there’s actually been a fair bit of progress towards this goal in some sub-regions. And I have to say that, on balance, I like what I’m tasting. There are plenty of missteps, and for the usual reasons (more ripeness is always better, everything tastes better with new oak, wine should taste like fruit, acid can always be added later), but there’s plenty to like, as well. Here, for example, is a pretty albariño. Note that I didn’t type “little” in between those two words. It ain’t little. Though I suppose in the context of the region’s whites, it might be thought of that way. It doesn’t yell and stomp and carry on, but presents itself with plain simplicity and leaves the interpretation to the taster. Swirly yellow fruit with both green and peachier notes, some nut oils, a decent bit of acidity. Nothing special, not bad, just…nice. (11/11)


Verdad 2010 Albariño Sawyer Lindquist (Edna Valley) – Big, sticky almonds with spice and preserved lemon. A bit of almond skin as counterpoint. Very bronzed…almost ambered, in fact…with a heavy, beeswax-textured finish. Good acidity. This is quite credible.

Not Dutch cheese

Terras Gauda 2004 Rías Baixas “Abadia de San Campio” Albariño (Northwest Spain) – Fully oxidized and undrinkable. (8/11)

Terras Gauda 2004 Rías Baixas “O Rosal” Albariño (Northwest Spain) – Beyond oxidized and worse than undrinkable. (8/11)

Laxas, praxis

Laxas 2009 Rias Baixas Albariño (Northwest Spain) – Pure juice. Lime, grapefruit, a bit of gooseberry, bitter orange, pear. Spirited acidity. But those who believe that “a wine should taste like fruit” will love this. (2/11)


Abrente 2009 Albariño (Napa Valley) – Only 13% by the label, but absolutely consumed by its alcohol. So much so that there’s almost nothing else to be said. Grossly, pathetically imbalanced. Where’s the…well, anything other than ethanol? (5/10)

Q, M, & 007

Quintas de Melgaço “QM” 2006 Vinho Verde Alvarinho (Monção) – A “spare” bottle left aside to see what happened with a little age, though in this case only a microscopic bit of patience was actually exercised, and the full experiment will have to wait for another day. Salty and almost soda-like, thought not in the frothy fashion of something like txakolina, but more in the lingering, quasi-electric tactility of the wine. Lemon, lime, grapefruit…the greenish, less sweet end of the citric spectrum is a little more spare than at release, and maybe the wine’s just a touch less fun that before. Food, which is always good with this wine (something saline and from a shell or carapace works best), might be a little more necessary than before. (5/09)

Chapterhouse Doon

Bonny Doon “Ca’ del Solo” 2008 Albariño (Monterey County) – Very light, yet a little sticky as well. Yellow-skinned fruit and light floral notes, not so much almond, and a crisp-creamy finish. More or less boring. (4/09)

Codax moment

Codax 2005 Rias Baixas Albariño (Northwest Spain) – Daisy-fresh, riding a line between stone fruit, apple, and salty lemon. Very pleasant. (9/08)

Pazo tea

Pazo Pondal 2004 Rias Baixas Albariño (Northwest Spain) – Sweet lemon juice, rind, and curd, with grapefruit along for the lemony ride. Summery and sunny, though a touch hot. There’s a bit of a carbonic sizzle to the finish, which is refreshing. (10/06)

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