A white grape grown predominantly in Spain and Portugal, where it is known as Alvarinho. Its origins are unknown, but it is generally thought to have been brought to Spain from France, and then from Spain into Portugal. In any case, it has certainly found its home in regions such as Rias Baixas in Spain, and the Vinho Verde region in Portugal. Small areas of Albariño are also grown in California, and some pockets of Australia. However, recent DNA testing has suggested that a lot of the Albariño planted in Australia is, in fact, Savagnin, and not Albariño at all.
In terms of the typical profile of wines made from Albariño, we need look no further than the classic wines produced in Rias Baixas. These white wines tend to be light-bodied and highly aromatic, with a profile quite similar to Viognier, or even Petit Manseng. They show floral blossom notes, with ripe stone fruit characters of apricot and peach, balanced by a fine, concentrated acidity that keeps the wines from becoming too cloying. A great match with some lighter tapas dishes.
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