Next up to bat in the Great White Wine Hunt if 2013 is Columna Albarno, and it hits a solid single!
This wine is from the Galicia area in the northwest part of Spain, one of the Celtic regions of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Columna Albarno is a clean, crisp white with flavors of pineapple and peaches. It tastes very much like a Riesling without that syrupy effect. In fact, the Cluny monks who are credited for bring the Albarino grape to Spain called the grape “Alba-Rino” or “the white wine from the Rhine,” though remarkably the Albarino predates the Riesling grape by three hundred years. The Albarino can be found in texts from the 12th century, and we don’t see any records of the Riesling until the 15th Century. Historians think this grape may be more closely related to the French grape Petti Manseng.
What I miss most with white wines vs. reds is the nose. Maybe my nose is worn out and I just can’t smell the fragrance that’s there, but I rarely fine a nose with a white wine, and unfortunately the Columna was no exception.
What I did get was an excellent refreshing wine that pairs well with grilled salmon and chicken. It was equally enjoyable with water melon sherbet for dessert.
I would encourage you to give the Albarino grape, especially the Columna wine, a try. This wine is made by Rodri Mendez who is Raul Perez’s right hand man. If you remember, Raul Perez is the maker of “Sketch,” which is the white wine aged 60 feet down on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Hell if you’ve got an extra $70. Give Sketch a try. Columna retails for about $15.
Embrace the Grape