Wine Review: Tricó Albariño 2009

by mary on December 28, 2012

This wine blows all my sometimes unfair stereotypes of thin, unsatisfying Galician Albariño right out of the water. So many years of drinking lots of bad Albariño and the frustration of seeing bad wine being made from a very good grape have led me to be a state of resignation about the wine in general. I have had to accept it is Spain’s most beloved white grape….but I try to seek out the really special ones and often turn to alternative grapes from the area such as Godello. This wine fell into my lap as a gift from a Spanish visitor. What a lovely gift it turned out to be! Rich, more exotic, and fuller than most, it also offers the best assets of a great Albariño, piercing acidity and wonderful minerality!

The winemaker, Jose Antonio López, formerly of well-known wineries Lusco and Morgadio, is dedicated to careful site selection, respectful vineyard practices and non-interventionist winemaking…..all these factors shine through in the wine. Many of these are not a given in the area where the yields are some of the highest in Spain and where vineyard practices are not always stellar.

One years of lees contact, followed by a year of bottle aging, has given it tremendous roundness, richness, complexity, while preserving the freshness, all a recipe for an Albariño that can age. Most Albariños should be drunk within a couple of years even though the grape has potential for more, this is one of the happy exceptions. This 2009 still has tremendous freshness and youthfulness. Stony and yeasty aromas blend with intense lemon and a surprising touch of tropical pineapple. The mouth is surprisingly full and the lemon finish was very long. Rare for an Albariño and always one of my tests was that it was still pleasant even much warmer. This is an Albariño that can be matched with so much more than the typical shellfish….I had it with my Christmas dinner and it was great with the sweetish city ham and it’s glaze, the scalloped potatoes and Brussels sprouts!

Behind the name and label are lovely stories. According to the label, Tricó is the unexpected youngest child born long after his siblings, who has much to learn from their experience and who usually remains at home to care for his aging parents. The pretty label is a drawing done in 1938 by Jose Antonio’s mother of her childhood 1938. It all makes for a nice wine package.

The value is great on this wine….about 14€ in Spain and between 19-23$ here in the US…..a littlepricer than most Albariños I recommend but so worth it!


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