Spain > Rias Baixas > Paco & Lola Albariño

Paco & Lola Albariño

Country: Spain
Region: Rias Baixas
Producer: Bodega Rosalía de Castro
Grape variety: 100% Albariño
Vintage: 2010
Found at: Co-op Wines and Spirits, Willow Park Wines and Spirits (or see Liquor Connect and enter your postal code)
Price: $21.99

About the region: I realized we hadn’t paid a visit to Spain yet, so since Spain is best known for its red wines, I was going through some of Spain’s main regions for reds. While doing so, Paco & Lola’s Albariño suddenly came to mind: a beautiful white from Spain’s Rias Baixas region I tried a few weeks ago. So instead of visiting Rioja, Ribera del Duero, or Priorat (all of which will get their turn!) we’ll start with one of Spain’s “less typical” regions on our first visit

Rias Baixas is located in the Northwest corner of Spain, just above Portugal. Due to its proximity to the ocean, the weather is cooler and wetter compared to many other of Spain’s wine regions (which especially inland are hot and dry). From a grape growing perspective, it’s characterized by small-scale production: the average grape grower owns less than 1.5 acres of vines. They use the grapes either for making wines for their own personal consumption, or sell it through one of the cooperatives or to one of the 181 bodegas (wineries). Most wineries purchase their fruit from grape growers as opposed to growing their own grapes, which is very common in Spain.

Although several other grape varieties are allowed in Rias Baixas, the vast majority of the wines that are produced here are 100% Albariño.

Galicia, the region of Spain which Rias Biaxas falls under, is known for its good food, in particular fish and shellfish. So it’s no surprise that Albariño from Rias Baixas pairs fabulously  with a wide range of fish and shellfish.

About the wine: Albariño typically is intensely aromatic and (despite being light-bodied) quite flavourful, often hinting towards exotic fruit aromas and flavours. Virtually all Albariño from Rias Baixas is aged in stainless steel tanks for a short period of time without any exposure to oak, which provides it with a clean, fresh flavour profile.

Due to its small-scale production, marketing their wines has often been a challenge for winemakers in Rias Baixas. In response to this, a group of viticulturists and winemakers joined forces in 2005 to capitalize on their vineyards by creating a brand that would appeal to audiences worldwide and to younger audiences in particular. They succeeded: Paco & Lola is currently available in more than 20 countries and has been receiving great reviews. The venture currently brings together over 450 growers, who are supported by a team that fulfills the daily activities in the winery, ensuring strict quality controls from the vineyard to bottling.

The wine is indeed quite aromatic, showing lemon and apple compote aromas, and hints of apricot. There’s a nice weight to the palate, balanced with solid acidity to keep it fresh. Here we find green apple and lemon peel notes, as well as hints of mango. The finish lingers nicely. Wonderful.

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