I have a bit of thing for Albariño, as do many curious wine drinkers it would seem. It’s really caught on in the last few years. Our latest addition to the range is something we’ve been after for a while now. A good quality, reasonably priced Albariño that slips into the €10-€15 price bracket, and we’ve found it in the form of the Namorío Albariño.
The Namorío is made by Bodegas Valdamor, who also produce (the clue is in the name) the Valdamor Albariño, which has been on our list since day one. Although the Valdamor represents smashing value for money and has developed a very loyal following over the years, we wanted something at a lower price point. In steps the Namorío, retailing at €14.99, or €11.99 as part of our Spanish sale, which is ongoing until the end of February.
Like Pinot Noir and Riesling, I’m not sure we’ll ever see Albariño super cheap, like the tons of sub €10 Pinot Grigio and Cabernet we see all the time. And if it was it wouldn’t be making the impression on people that it is.
It’s a fickle grape variety, and with its thick skins and large number of pips it needs to be managed carefully to avoid any kind of bitterness in the final wine. As well as this, in comparison to the noble grape varieties (Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon et al), it is not widely grown outside of Spain, so it’s a bit of a Spanish specialty. Portugal also produces its fair share, but essentially it’s not one of those variety’s that will just produce results anywhere it is grown.
If you’ve tried Albariño before, you may have an idea of what to expect. Peach and apricot leap out of the glass, and then what makes them almost dangerously drinkable, that lightness on the palate and the slightest touch of residual sweetness from the soft ripe fruit. Bodegas Valdamor are quite unique in that they only work with Albariño. They don’t produce any other wines.
If they did, they’d probably be the best winery in the world.