Wine of the Week: 2010 Arcan Albariño
Region & Country: Rías Baixas, Spain
As regular readers will know, this is not the first time I have recommended an Albariño wine from Rías Baixas.
But hey, they are consistently good and excellent value given the high quality of the wines. This 2010 Arcan Albariño from Adega Pombal a Lanzada is a new one for me — and no exception to the high quality rule. Made from 100- and 200-year-old vines, this is its first commercial release. Very expressive and intensely flavored I loved it from the first sip.
The wine has a crystal clear, youthful lemony color. Expressive, but focused nose of bright citrus and stone fruit with notes of white flowers, lemon rind and a very definite wet stony minerality. The wonderful firm backbone of racy acidity defines the wine, and provides more than adequate structure for the ripe fleshy flavors that abound and persist on the palate - Meyer lemon, apricot and nectarine with savory earthy and spicy nuances. Medium-bodied, it has a plush creaminess mid-palate and a delicious tangy kick on the finish with a perfect touch of salinity.
At the Table: Albariño and fish or seafood have been natural partners and friends at the table for centuries — so you cannot go wrong serving this Arcan 2010 with simple grilled or pan-friend white fish, mussels (any which way), oysters and so on. To kick it up a notch I suggest you try it with a scallop or sea bass ceviche, Mexican fish tacos, grilled spicy shrimp or linguine with jumbo lump crab, to which I like to add some chili flakes.
About Albariño, Rías Baixas, Adega Pombal a Lanzada and This 2010 Arcan Albariño: The Albariño grape comes from Rías Baixas in Galicia, which is on the rugged, northwestern Atlantic coast of Spain - often called Green Spain. In terms of flavor and texture, imagine if you crossed the racy acidity of Riesling, the floral and stone fruit aromas of Pinot Grigio and the texture of Viognier — there you have something akin to Albariño. Albariño wines are typically light to medium bodied and unoaked.
Adega Pombal a Lanzada is a small family owned and operated winery. The name derives from a long stretch of beach, which the winery overlooks called 'La Playa Lanzada'. Although the family has been growing grapes and making wine from these very old vines (circa 100 and 200 year old vines), for generations, this is the first time that they have made the wine commercially available to the general public. Historically, they made the wine to sell locally within their village. How lucky are we!
The name of the wine 'Arcan' means old world. All the vines are cultivated organically and hand harvested. The wine was fermented in stainless steel tank with indigenous yeasts and left in tank on the lees for about 6 months post fermentation. Unoaked it also did not under go malolactic fermentation to preserve the freshness and brightness of the fruit flavors.
While fully integrated and delicious to enjoy now, this 2010 Arcan Albariño has enough flavor depth and concentration and structure to cellar 5+ years.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant.
Previous Wine of the Week: Zardetto Prosecco Brut NV