jueves, 11 de abril de 2013

Bodegas As Laxas (Laxas Albariño) - D.O. Rías Baixas


BODEGAS AS LAXAS - D.O. RÍAS BAIXAS

Bodegas As Laxas, a historic winery in DO Rias Baixas, was established in 1860 and acquired by the current owners in 1982. The winery owns 19 hectares of vineyards which are planted with Albariño, the queen of the vineyard, Treixadura, Loureira and Caíño. The vineyards are over 30 years old and situated on south-facing granite terraces 200 metres above sea level. Located in Arbo, on the banks of the River Miño in the mountainous sub-zone Condado de Tea (Pontevedra) within DO Rías Baixas, Bodegas As Laxas has a long and rich tradition of wine-making dating back to the end of the nineteenth century when previous generations first started producing wines. The vineyards benefit from the pronounced landscape of south-facing terraces, the influence of the humid Atlantic winds, and the intense rays of the sun that caress the aristocratic Albariño. This environment is the natural habitat of the Albariño grape, presenting in fact the only conditions under which it may be grown successfully. In addition, mild temperatures and plentiful rainfall interspersed with sunny spells enable the vines to achieve their highest quality potential.

The Albariño is the most noble of the grape varieties in Galicia and produces exquisite wines that are aromatic, magnificently balanced and very flavourful. Research has shown that local yeasts are responsible for the aromatic character of the wine. Studies have been centred on identifying and isolating these local yeasts and, with the separate microvinification of grapes from various terroirs, it has been discovered that yeasts are completely different from vineyard to vineyard. The bodega has modern water-cooled stainless steel installations.

LAXAS ALBARIÑO 2011, RÍAS BAIXAS, SPAIN

- Wine making: 100% Albariño. Made from a selection of the very best grapes grown exclusively in the sub-area of Condado de Tea, followed by a meticulous pressing to give an excellent quality must. 12% Vol.

- Tasting notes: "Clean and bright wine, straw-coloured with green glints. Intense fresh aromas on the nose with a perfect combination of fruity and flowery notes, in which apples, citrus fruits and stone fruits like apricots stand out. On the palate, the typical freshness and glyceric fullness of the Albariño predominates, tropical zesty fruits of pineapples, melons, grapefruit and citrus with a well adjusted acidity, perfectly balanced with the wine’s body and structure". burridgewine

Bacchus Concurso Internacional 2013 - Gold Medal
Guía Peñin 2012 - 91 points
Decanter World Wine Awards 2012 - Commended

- Price: £14.00

ALBARINO (ALVARINHO) GRAPE VARIETY

Albariño (Galician pronunciation: [alβaˈɾiːɲo]) or Alvarinho (Portuguese: [aɫvaˈɾiɲu]) is a variety of white wine grape grown in Galicia (northwest Spain), Monção and Melgaço (northwest Portugal), where it is used to make varietal white wines.

Albariño is actually the Galician name for the grape. In Portugal it is known as Alvarinho, and sometimes as Cainho Branco.

It was presumably brought to Iberia by Cluny monks in the twelfth century. Its name "Alba-Riño" means "the white [wine] from the Rhineand" it has locally been thought to be a Riesling clone originating from the Alsace region of France, although earliest known records of Riesling as a grape variety date from the 15th, rather than the 12th, century. It is also theorized that the grape is a close relative of the French grape Petit Manseng.

It should not be confused with the Alvarinho Liláz grape of Madeira.

- Major regions: Spain produces Albariño to a significant degree in the Rías Baixas DO, especially in the town of Cambados. It is also common in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal, but it is only authorized to be grown in Monção and Melgaço. In other locations such as Ribeiro (DO), Lima, Braga or Valdeorras (DO) it is often mixed with other grapes such as Loureiro, Godello, Caiño, Arinto or Treixadura to produce blended wines. Such blends were common throughout Galicia too until about 1985; when the Rías Baixas DO was established on an experimental basis in 1986, Albariño began to emerge as a varietal, both locally and internationally. Its recent emergence as a varietal led the wines to be "crafted for the palates of Europe, America and beyond and for wine drinkers who wanted clean flavors and rich, ripe fruit" and led to wines completely different from those produced across the river in Portugal.

Albariño is now produced in several California regions including the Santa Ynez Valley, Clarksburg, and Los Carneros AVAs.

In recent years Albariño attracted the attention of Australian winemakers, several of whom are now producing varietal wines. However, it has recently been discovered that grape growers and wine makers in Australia have been supplying and selling wrongly labelled Albarino for over a decade. They thought they were pouring money into the market for the Spanish grape, only to discover they were incorrectly sold cuttings of the French Savagnin grape instead.

A French expert visiting Australia raised questions in 2008, and DNA testing confirmed that the grapes are in fact French Savagnin. Almost all wine in Australia labelled as Albarino is Savagnin.

- Wine characteristics: The grape is noted for its distinctive aroma, very similar to that of Viognier, Gewurztraminer, and Petit Manseng, suggesting apricot and peach. The wine produced is unusually light, and generally high in acidity with alcohol levels of 11.5–12.5%. Its thick skins and large number of pips can cause residual bitterness.

- Viticulture: In the beginning of the 20th century, Albariño vines could be found growing around the trunks of poplar trees and in bushes along the outside margins of a field. However, in the middle of the century, the growers made big investments and became professional grape growers. When grown in a vineyard, the vines need to be wire trained with large canopies to accommodate the 30 to 40 buds per vine that is typical. The grape responds well to the heat and humidity though the high yields and bunching of clusters usually keeps the grapes within the margins of ripeness.

- Synonyms: Albariño is also known under the synonyms Albarina, Alvarin Blanco, Alvarinha, Alvarinho, Azal Blanco, Galego and Galeguinho.

Source: burridgewine

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