2012 Palacio de Fefinanes Albarino

Hello friends. Today is one of those days where I’m happy Full Pull doesn’t have grouchy shareholders or a stern Board of Directors. In monetary terms, it would be hard to justify dedicating an entire offering to $25 Albarino.

Viva mismanagement!

The wine was just too good to pass up. I know this is more of a niche offering, but I suspect those of you who like this are going to *really* like it. It’s one of the most thrilling whites I have tasted in 2013, and if it were a Premier Cru Burg or a Grosses Gewachs Riesling, we wouldn’t bat an eye at this tariff.

For an Albarino, though, the price may raise some eyebrows, but no matter: what’s good is good. As I dug into this more, I wasn’t surprised to find that previous vintages have received strong reviews, culminating with this screamer from Decanter for the most recent, 2011 vintage:

Decanter Magazine: “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.” [Note: this is for the 2011 vintage; the 2012 is too recently released for reviews.]

We find ourselves today squarely in the Atlantic Northwest of Spain (the Washington of Iberia, as it were), at Palacio de Fefiñanes (located here). The winery is located inside a baronial palace built in 1647 in the town of Cambados (here’s what it looks like). The winery, founded in 1904, has a rich history, including being the first winery to bottle under the Rias Baixas DO. It is one of a handful of reference point producers in this part of Galicia.

When you hear descriptions of this region (wet winters that rarely drop below freezing, high rainfall, mild temperatures during sunny summers), it sounds awfully familiar to Seattleites. So too does the abundance of shellfish and finfish in the neighboring waters, and a wine like this is perfectly poised to match the summer cuisine of Galicia, the PacNW, and anyplace else that favors delicate crustaceans on the menu. As an oyster-lover, this is going to be a must-have on our summer menu.

The nose is a lovely mix of pineapple fruit, floral topnotes, and an insistent marine element: salt air or crushed seashell. That saline component is especially inviting, and it’s repeated on the palate, which I found thrilling mostly for its otherworldly intensity. The acidity is perfect, mouthwatering; the drool machine was still working five minutes after I took my first swallow. It just tastes like the seaside, full of crushed rock and shell, lemon fruit, and salty undertones. The intensity and complexity (on a 12.5% alc frame) are enough to make you rethink both the aging curve, and the overall quality ceiling, for Albarino.

First come first served up to 12 bottles, and the wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be available for pickup or shipping during the spring shipping window.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: