Abadia de San Campio 2010 Rías Baixas Albariño

Spanish white wines will never hold the same place in my heart as Spanish
Posted 04th April 2012        

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Spanish white wines will never hold the same place in my heart as Spanish reds, but – largely thanks to the influence of Terras Gauda – they are starting to bring the balance closer to resembling my overall favour-ratio between the dark stuff and the light stuff. (Which is about 60/40 to the reds.)

This 100%-Albariño white from Rías Baixas, Galicia – right in the top-left corner of Spain – is a similar affair to the first of the whites they sent, which I enjoyed a week or two ago.

Completely different grape, and completely different bottle; same bit of Galicia though.

I detected a similar stoney mineral hint coming off the surface of this pale-green-gold – almost money-coloured – white wine. It was probably a touch less citric than the Caíño Branco, but there were definite hints of citrus detected on the tongue, along with a veritable fruit-salad of flavours along the lines of apricot, pear and pineapple. In fact, the wine transformed from a Chablis-style sauve soil-based affair in the nose to a much more tropical Southern Hemisphere sort of event in the mouth.

The tasting notes, interestingly, indicate that everything I picked up with my mouth, I ought to have detected already with my nose. (And Wikipedia agrees – adding that the grape “should not be confused with the Alvarinho Liláz”. Trust me, there was no danger of me falling for that one!)

It’s all very confusing, but I won’t let it spoil my enjoyment of the wine, which – again: strike two for Terras Gauda – shows more elements worthy of comment than most Spanish whites I’ve tried before.

The delightful label has an interesting image of what looks like a masked and cloaked vigilante stalking away from a Gothic building of some sort of religious significance. It suggests intrigue and narrative and allegory – although it’s probably just a monk.

The Terras Gauda website actually has a page dedicated to this wine, so you can read all about it in more coherency than I can muster – although the tasting notes, interestingly, differ slightly from those on the press release, which suggests there is room for interpretation. This I like.

No buy-link though. Not that I can see. Email them: they have an email address on the bottom of their page. FYI, I think “comme estas?” means something in Spanish, although whether it’ll help you buy wine, I have no idea.


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Meet the Author:
Alexander Velky
Alexander grew up on Anglesey, almost as far away from civilization as he’d have liked. He studied English at university and subsequently moved to Prague to teach it to Czech people for just long enough that he could say he’d done that. He then returned to the UK to do an MA in Professional Writing, and later moved to London by accident and worked in the music industry for a while. His interest in wine has been developing throughout. He took the WSET Intermediate exam, for which he was rewarded with a certificate and a pin badge, but he probably won't bother doing any more. He now lives in Pembrokeshire with his wife and daughter. He writes, and drinks, for a living. You can follow him on Twitter if that's how you choose to spend your time. Photograph by Léonie Keeble