Lots of wines get a celebratory day (Malbec World Day, for example). But the trade organization that promotes Iberian grape varieties produced in North America thinks albariño deserves five days of recognition.
So today is the first day of International Albariño Days, according to TAPAS, Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society. The celebration’s timing coincides with the Fiesta del Albariño, held in Cambados, a town in the albariño-producing area of Rias Baixas, Spain.
Five days seems excessive to me, but, hey, I love albariño, so I’ll roll with it. In California, there are about 350 acres of albariño planted, according to state statistics. The Edna Valley, outside San Luis Obispo, has been a source of excellent albariño; the bottling from Tangent is a good example.
But Lodi, perhaps best known for zinfandel, has been doing a great job with all types of Iberian varieties, including albariño. These three wines are a good place to start.
The 2017 Klinker Brick Albariño ($15) is lean and racy, with golden apple flavors and a wet stone note. And it’s a great buy. The 2017 Mettler Family Albariño ($20) has a little more weight, with white fruit accented by a stony quality. And the 2017 Harney Lane Albariño ($20) is the fleshiest of the three, with a saline quality and nice freshness. I haven’t tasted the current vintage, but Bokisch generally makes a fine Lodi albariño, as well.