10 Zesty Albariños for Less Than $40

July 23, 2021

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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.


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.

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