Lagar de Cervera Rias Baixas Albarino 2014
A couple of months ago I spent a couple of weeks in Portugal, and the best drinking I found when there was Vinho Verde. I particularly enjoyed some of the single-variety Alvarinho cuvées, from the likes of Soalheiro and Palácio da Brejoeira among others. I wrote up some tasting notes at the time, here: A New Vinho Verde.
And then a couple of weeks ago, this bottle arrived. Same variety, different country.
Although I’m no expert on Rias Baixas I do know that Lagar de Cervera is the Galician outpost of La Rioja Alta, for a long time one of my favourite Rioja bodegas (I don’t claim any expertise in Rioja either, although I have at least visited the region). The fruit is chilled, pressed, and then tank-fermented, and 50% underwent malolactic fermentation, followed by some time on the lees. The 2014 Lagar de Cervera Rias Baixas Albariño has a pale hue, and a richly expressed nose, full of pithy citrus notes, as well as cool white peach flesh and also a lightly saline suggestion. There are some slightly bitter edges to the palate which I like, with flavours of lime, mint, perfumed white peach and white currant. It feels savoury, tense, bright, textured but cool with a steely core. I wouldn’t have guessed there was 50% malolactic fermentation here for sure. Overall very good, and it would stand up very well to all those Alvarinhos I tasted. Under screwcap. 16.5/20 (October 2015)
Disclosure: This bottle was a received sample.