Wine of the Week: Albariño
The climate in the province of Pontevedra produces delicious Spanish wine
Michael and Isabel Mondavi started Folio Fine Wine Partners four years ago, with the goal of building a portfolio of small, artisanal wineries from wine regions all over the world. After years of serving as the CEO of the huge Robert Mondavi Corp., Michael was ready to focus on quality over quantity. Folio has turned into a family business with daughter Dina joining in marketing and son Rob as the winemaker.
Last week, Rob was in Austin doing a trade tasting for local wine buyers. I snuck in and had the chance to taste a good number of their wines. I was impressed, especially with their wines imported from Spain. The winery that really grabbed my attention was Bodegas Fillaboa (FEE-ya-BOW-ah).
They work with only one grape, Albariño (all-bah-REEN-yo). Their growing area is in the province of Pontevedra in the thin area of Spain between Portugal and the Cantabrian Sea. The average temperature there is about 12 degrees cooler than here, and it's perfect to get the bright acidity you always hope for in an Albariño. Marry that with the delicate aromas of peaches and pears, and you have a wonderful wine for lightly spiced Asian food.
Fillaboa makes only two wines. The Fillaboa Albariño ($19) is my favorite. It's lighter and has a crisp acidity that leaves a yummy pear aftertaste. Selección Finca Monte Alto ($24) is the only single-vineyard estate wine produced in their area. It is more powerful but still perfectly balanced.
If you're curious about the grape but want a less expensive version, try the Martín Códax Albariño ($12), which is a little more citrusy than Fillaboa's and would go well with grilled Gulf shrimp.
All three wines are available at Grape Vine Market. The Fillaboa Albariño and Martín Códax Albariño are available at the Austin Wine Merchant. Central Market Westgate carries the Fillaboa Albariño.