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Top 5 Albariño/Alvarinho at the LCBO

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Albariño/Alvarinho

Albariño is the primary grape used to make dry white wine in the Rias Baixas (Lower Inlets) section of the Galicia region of Northwestern Spain. Considered by many to be Spain's premier quality white wine, Albariño is also known in Portugal as Alvarinho and often used as a component of Vinho Verde. Weather conditions in the Rias Baixas are generally cool, windy and rainy. Vines must be trained high and open to allow winds to dry them out and avoid the ongoing threat of rot, mildew and other fungal diseases. Notably, Albariño grapes develop thick skins here, contributing to their intense aromas. Typically, wines made from Albariño are very aromatic, often described as having scents of almonds or almond paste, apples, peaches, citrus, and flowers or grass. Albariño wines are particularly suited to seafood due to their bracing acidity - which some producers have tempered with extra roundness, by aging the wines on lees, giving them a fuller texture. This grape's inherent tartness should be embraced in youth, for wines made from albariño do not age well, and the vibrant aromas begin to noticeably fade within months of bottling.