10 Zesty Albariños for Less Than $40

Albariño, known as Alvarinho in Portugal, is a white grape variety from Iberian Peninsula. It’s the principal grape in the crisp and refreshing wines of Rías Baixas and Vinho Verde.

Like many varieties, it has also thrived in various climates and regions outside of its home. Albariños tend to be crisp with ripe fruit flavors, have bright acidity and a round mouthfeel, and are often meant to be consumed young. They’re perfect on hot summer days, or paired with the brininess of foods like oysters.

Old World to New, Albariño Has Gone Global

Niner 2020 Albariño (Edna Valley); $25, 92 points. Brisk aromas of Asian pear and Pink Lady apple are broad but clean on the nose of this crisp bottling. There is fascinating tension on the palate, which pops with melon and green apple flavors, as a honeysuckle tone lingers on the finish. —Matt Kettmann

Analemma 2018 Mosier Hills Estate Albariño (Columbia Gorge); $38, 91 points. This is exceptionally rich, with a floral top note and a core of ripe flavors of peach and tropical fruits. It feels heavier and bigger overall than its relatively low alcohol, and the lingering flavors come with accents of candied fruits and burnt caramel. It seems to be in a prime drinking window already. —Paul Gregutt

Grosgrain 2020 Philips Vineyard Albariño (Walla Walla Valley); $24, 91 points. Examples of this variety are rare in the valley and Washington more broadly. This is fermented and aged in concrete egg, neutral barrel and stainless steel. Intriguing aromas of beeswax, wet stone and the underside of a pineapple are followed by elegant flavors that dance lightly on the palate. There’s compelling balance throughout. Editors’ Choice. —Sean P. Sullivan

Sling & Stone 2020 Gularte Vineyard Albariño (Monterey); $25, 91 points. Aromas of dried grass, lime peels and green-pear skins make for a light and easy entry to the nose of this bottling. Citrus flashes of lemon and lime juice lead into white-flower flavors, as the texture engages all corners of the palate. —M.K.

Anselmo Mendes 2020 Contacto Alvarinho (Vinho Verde); $20, 93 points. Born and based in the Minho Valley, the Alvarinho is the native grape for Anselmo Mendes. This wine, made with skin contact, brings out a rich, textured side to the grape. It is ripe, dense and full of rich citrus flavors. Drink from 2022. Grape2Glass. Editors’ Choice. —Roger Voss

Aveleda 2020 Alvarinho (Minho); $15, 90 points. Alvarinho at its ripe and creamy best, this is bright with apple fruits that give the wine freshness. The mineral texture adds a touch of steeliness and complexity to a white that is very ready to drink. Aveleda Inc. Best Buy. —R.V.

La Caña 2019 Albariño (Rías Baixas); $20, 90 points. Patented apple and green-melon aromas come with a hint of sea brine, making this Albariño appealing from the start. A rounded palate is braced by punchy acidity, while melon and apple flavors come with a welcome hint of wet stone and citrus. This is in prime condition, so drink now. Jorge Ordóñez Selections. —Michael Schachner

Palacio de Fefiñanes 2019 de Fefiñanes Albariño (Rías Baixas); $33, 90 points. Briny apple aromas come with a dusty note, while this is both juicy and full on the palate, with lime-like acidity. Flavors of lime, green melon, apple and sea salt are appealing. On the finish, this feels lively and acidic, with a note of green herbs. Drink now. Kysela Père et Fils. —M.S.

Pazo San Mauro 2019 Albariño (Rías Baixas); $22, 90 points. Aromas of wet slate, apple and peach hint at corn. A bouncy, lifted palate shows mild citric acidity, while this tastes of apple and nectarine along with a sprinkle of sea salt. A steady finish holds onto its core acidity, but it’s best to drink now. Torgar Group. —M.S.

Bodega Garzón 2019 Single Vineyard Albariño (Uruguay); $30, 89 points. A yellow color along with aromas of dried cheese, citrus fruits and wet slate are round but bone-dry, while this feels medium to full in body. A mature mix of lemony citrus and white stone fruit flavors is backed by skins-based bitterness and hints of the nearby sea. Drink now. Pacific Highway Wines & Spirits. —M.S.

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Published on July 23, 2021
Topics: Buying Guide