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Wine Reviews

Valminor Albariño Rias Baixas 2017

From Rias Baixas in Spain, this proves quite a typical expression of white variety albariño. If you are less familiar with albariño (little is grown in Australia – please chime in if you’ve found a good one), the style of these wines is typically towards full bodied, with high acidity and a saline overlay. An adaptable wine that doesn’t need food, but likes fish. This wine has aromas of orange blossom, florals and salt. The palate is full bodied with piercing acidity that runs through it. Ready to drink now, this is a good example of albariño. Rating: Good. Website: NA. Reviewed: June 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Pazo Barrantes Rias Baixas Albariño 2016

This is an enjoyable albariño from Pazo Barrantes in Rias Baixas. Neither the name of this appellation (Rias Baixas) nor even the grape variety are particularly accessible to the English speaker, but the wine style is fresh, saline and worth seeking out. Yellow gold in the glass, the 2016 vintage has aromas of minerals, stones sea salt and some florals. It sits between medium and full bodied on the palate, with high acid, mid range length on the finish and no discernible oak. Refreshing drinking. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: <$20.

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Wine Reviews

The new grape variety of the moment; Stockman’s Ridge Rider Savagnin 2013

Savagnin is traminer, but not gewürtztraminer or gewürtztraminer that is called traminer.  And nor just for good measure is it albariño.  These sentences unexpectedly make sense because savagnin has been proven to be the same grape variety is that called traminer in Germany, the CSIRO confirmed in 2009 that source material propagated at the CSIRO that was thought to be albariño is in fact savagnin and gewürtztraminer is not traminer, even though it often has been called this name in Australia.

This state of affairs is sort of like calling a pear a lettuce and then importing bananas that are in fact lettuce to sell to customers hoping for bananas and thinking they already have lettuce when they have pears, and it turns out wish to have lettuce after all.  But I digress.  What I can say is that savagnin is most certainly the grape variety of the moment, because the same variety underlies the ultra fashionable wines of Jura.

The wine in the glass here is a savagnin from Stockman’s Ridge in the Central Ranges Zone.  It’s a wine of interest, with aromatics of citrus, talc and yoghurt and some honey at the edges.  The palate is balanced with a fuller body, lemon citrus and bread characters and some crisp acidity that shows itself with time.  A nice drink.

Rating: Acceptable to Good, Abv: 13.9%, Price: $23, Source: sample, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.stockmansridge.com.au, Tasted: 2015