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What our expert thought of Leiras Albariño




the tasting

The Tasting


The wine is a lovely greeny-gold.  This rich colour is due partly to Albariño’s thick skins and partly to extended skin contact before fermentation to maximise the extraction of its sought-after scents.
 
There’s a big, sweet-smelling nose of elderflower, almond paste and candied pineapple – very exotic.  It’s tempered by a briny scent almost like sea-spray.
 
This is dry, but it tastes just slightly off-dry due to the richness of fruit: an Albariño characteristic.  It’s medium bodied (which is as weighty as Albariño gets) and has high, mouthwatering acidity offset by ripe, mouthfilling flavours of pink grapefruit and white peach.
 
These lead into a long, tingling finish with just a hint of bitter almonds about it.  Salted ones – there’s a saline quality here to match that sea-spray on the nose.  The mouthwatering acidity is so zingy it makes the corners of my jaw ache a little.


Assessment


This is an exotically ripe and unusually full-bodied Albariño from a warm year, 2015.  But it still manages to display that bracing, salty mineral character that the Val do Salnés sub-region is noted for.  The pre-fermentation skin content apparent in the rich colour has paid off in the depth and complexity of the nose, while post-fermentation lees contact has filled out the palate, which is quite weighty for a wine at only 12%.
 
This is a wine that hits a lot of the same targets as a good Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, but I think it rewards the drinker with more dimensions to the flavour.  That mineral quality makes it rather more versatile with food, too.



Tasting notes

Appearance
clear medium lemon
Nose

Intensity pronounced

Aromas floral (elderflower), nuts (almond paste), tropical fruit (candied pineapple), mineral (brine)

Development developing
Palate

Sweetness dry

Acidity high

Body medium

Intensity medium++

Flavours citrus (pink grapefruit), stone fruit (white peach)
Finish

Length long

Flavours as palate, tingling acidity, saline, hint of bitter almonds
Other notes
Unoaked. Exotically ripe and full-bodied for the region.


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