Tag Archives: Valminor

Pretty simple, simply pretty (Rias Baixas, Spain – Day One)

Travelling around Europe these past six months I have encountered a select few regions that exemplify my general philosophy of elegance in simplicity, and that there are varieties that express their origin much better than others but should only be grown in certain places. I have mentioned a few of these in the past, but it is safe to say that I would add the albarino variety and Rias Baixas to these lists. Many people have compared albarino to riesling which is a pretty fair assessment, not only for the fact that the wines are generally made without oak in a fresh mineralic style, but also the tendency for mature albarino wines to acquire the same oily aromas and viscosity that riesling does. It is the first reason that I feel so strongly about these wines, as albarino can be amazingly uncomplicated and unpretentious yet filled with character and style, the purest expression you can imagine. These are wines that everyone can enjoy for various reasons, and also everyone can afford. With so little influence from the winemaker there is really nothing to hide; if you don’t have good grapes then you don’t have good wine. Pretty simple really but with the propensity to use so many techniques to influence wines in the winery I think this is lost somehow, and the wines are thought of merely as simple. Why should all white wine be made like white burgundy?
A beautiful albarino leaf

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Valminor – 19/07/2012

Valminor Albarino 2011
Lovely grassy citrus notes, slightly floral and perfumed, some depth but just good solid fruit on the nose. Fresh fruits and acidity, vibrant texture and intensity. Great structure and flavours across the palate, fresh and vibrant but not one-dimensional. Body and expression.

Darila Blanco 2011 (albarino, loureiro, treixadura)
Slightly more brooding and intense, interesting character coming from the blend and/or the lees contact, deeper more honeyed notes, less citrus and floral. Finer broader and less fruit-driven, more lean through the palate, less expressive, more minerality and more sea influence.

Villa L100 2010 (loureiro)
Riper and more intense, more grassy and herbal, showing some toasty honey spice notes, along with some very delicate floral aromas. Riper and yet more subtle and soft, more textural but quite light, ripe yet fresh, citrus tropical notes and some very delicate honey sweetness.

Villa M100 2009 (albarino, louriero, caino blanco)
Denser and crunchier, quite noticeable influence from oak. More texture and body, slightly more warmth and crunch, nice partnership with the fruit, not overly expressive, more about the mouth-feel. A tad aggressive for now, perhaps due to vintage and youth.

Villa M100 2007
More golden oily colour. Honeyed maturity, more oily and rich on the nose, ageing a little quickly. Deeper darker notes, but still fresh and very delicate. Oak has softened out and gained some complexity. Very fine and rich wine, but not flabby at all.

Albarino leaf

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