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Pazo de Villarei Albariño 2016



A conversation thread about the following wine:

This conversation resulted from the TWS Taste event on November 29th, 2017 - the general thread of that conversation can be found here:

Read on to learn more about members’ thoughts on this wine and feel free to add your thoughts at the end.

#TWS Taste [29 Nov 2017]; Christmas Cheer
Community Tasting Events Schedule for 2018
#TWS Taste [29 Nov 2017]; Christmas Cheer

Pazo de Villarei Albariño, Rías Baixas 2016

I have an personal affinity for Galicia with its rain-swept rocky coastline and its Celtic links, my own being Hebridean. (Galicia & Gaelic are from the same etymological root.)

Having always been hot on geography (the kind of guy who would happily ‘read’ an atlas for hours on end), so at a recent tasting when pouring our Exhibition Albariño I was surprised when I mentioned Galicia and was asked “Where’s that?”
Well here it is!


And the D.O. Rías Baixas, where this wine hails from, looks like this. The vineyards for this wine are situated in the Val do Salnés, while the wine is made is at a winery situated in the O Rosal.

Map from riasbaixaswines.com

This picturesque area is the logical geographic extension of Portugal. Roughly the size of Belgium, it consists of four provinces: La Coruña, Lugo, Pontevedra and Ourense.

With its fabulous Atlantic coastline, west and north, this is a veritable fish and shellfish paradise on its extended coastline. But the interior, into which few venture, is as spectacular with huge valleys, mountains and rivers and big-flavoured culinary traditions based on pork and the traditional killing (matanza) of home-reared pigs.

The language (Galego) is a combination of Portuguese and Spanish with major Celtic influences. The latter is reflected in its deep-rooted musical traditions which involve bagpipes and country dancing.

While twelve grape varieties are permitted in the DO, albariño represents 96% of all plantings. For info, other grapes within the remaining 4% of plantings include treixadura, loureiro, caiño blanco, torrontes and godello.

As for Vinho Verde over the border in Portugal (closely related linguistically and vinously (the alvarinho of Portugal is, of course, the one and the same grape as albariño), the vines are traditionally trained along high trellises, or parras


As Rías Baixas can be very wet, growing the grapes in this way allows for very quick wind-drying once the rain has stopped. In some areas, this also allows for polyculture, and as the picture shows, it’s not just today that it’s been happening.


The vineyards are located at altitudes between 100 and 300 m above sea level. An ideal micro-climate is created there with a temperate and humid climate. Mild temperatures in the summer allow the grapes to ripen slowly, thus maintaining all the aromas of the varieties as well as a significant level of acidity, both necessary for producing fresh fruity wines.

The banks of the River Umia provide shallow and sandy soil, abetting the humid Atlantic climate, which helps the maturation of the albariño grape used in making their single varietal wines. A natural and long fermentation in stainless-steel tanks at very low temperatures preserve all the aromatic potential of the variety.

Anyway enough from me already! On to the wine!


I have a feeling that the grapes still grow better in this particular ‘Gaelic’ corner

Fascinating area - I’ve never had a chance to visit that side of the border. Has anyone else been there?


Poured, swirling and sniffing :+1::+1:


Me too! I am liking the citrus and pear aromas! :smiley: And a little bit floral maybe?


SO are we all swirling & sniffing like Leah (go to the top of the class!) :wink:


Citrus and pear is right - think I’m getting a hint of grapefruit


smoky on the nose


Totally getting the pear, pear drops even on the nose with a salty fresh and sherbet like aroma


Smooth and fruity


I’m pleasantly surprised by the nose. Sometimes the completely unoaked versions can be a bit neutral on the nose but this actually smells fresh, with some grapefruit skin notes - like it!


Yep, grapefruity around the edges.


getting pear drops


Ooh yes! I think that’s the citrus I had in mind but couldn’t put my finger on it.

And yeah @leah there’sd something seasidey about it too! :heart_eyes:


Agree with above but taste reminds me of childhood sherbet dibdabs. Wife and I not fans.


much more aromatic than I thought it would be for sure


Bit of a feeling of a sea breeze too. Not surprising - we’re only a few miles from the Atlantic.


Just had our annual trip to Madeira and can see the similarities with the Vinho Verde which we really like.



TPear, can agree with sherbet dibdabs but a faint, faint back note of paint stripper (in a good way) - Chris’s wife