2020 Wood Family Vineyards Albariño – From Livermore, California

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The Wood Family Vineyards is introducing their second white wine — an Albariño! Rhonda Wood received a call from the Las Positas College in Livermore, which besides being a local junior college, has a program for winemaking and viticulturists. They had grown some Albariño grapes on their property and asked Rhonda if she would be interested in purchasing them. Rhonda agreed and went one step further in donating 10% of all Albariño sales back to the Viticulture and Winery Technology program at Las Positas College.  A wonderful cooperative venture for both parties.

The Albariño Grape

Albariño is a well-known Spanish grape grown in Galicia in northwest Spain along the coast. It is also known as Alvarinho in Portugal. It was thought to have been introduced by the Romans in the 12th century. Key is its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean or water ways reaching the ocean.

(map from Rias Baixas Wines)

Typical Albariño grapes from the region have aromas of nectarine, lime with traces of honeysuckle and beeswax. The taste profile is mouth filling which is a heavier than an expected in a white wine. It is known as a seafood lovers wine to enhance any meal with fish.

Wood Family Vineyards Albariño

The first thing one notices is that this label is different than their traditional label.  With the cooperative nature with Las Positas College, they used the college mascot, the Hawk, embossed on the label.  The second think you thing about with this Albariño, it is not grown on the coast nor near any river leading to the coast as previously mentioned by its heritage in Spain. Livermore Valley (with its west to east geography) is located just over a gap in the East Bay Hills from the San Francisco Bay. The Bay gets the cool ocean breezes almost daily. So while not directly on the coast, the ocean and bay bodies have tremendous impact. Albariño is also grown in California on the San Luis Obispo coast and Lodi (climate from the north SF Bay and delta) both of which are similar with geography and climate of Albariño’s homeland.

Here is where this wine is both unique and has many amazing characteristics. First on the eyes this is a light yellow to golden straw coloring. In the glass possess the medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, a truly powerful aromatic freshness of flowers apricot, peach and honeysuckle. Stone fruit, salinity and minerality lurk in the background. On the palate, honeydew melon, extremely soft citrus of lemon and lime round out the profile. The finish is refined and clean beckoning yet another sip. They produced only 90 cases and it will be released on Tuesday, April 27th for $32 per bottle.

Food and Wine Pairing

Our Friday night informal “Wine & Dine” group visited Vine18 at Copper Valley for dinner. This wine was first paired with a tuna poke appetizer with diced tuna, avocado, ginger, radish, togarashi, chili oil, furikake, seaweed salad, ponzu and wasabi aioli and served with wonton crisps. This was an exceptional pairing with this Albariño.

The second appetizer paired with the wine was a shrimp tempura with sweet chili and ponzu dipping sauce. The shrimp without the dipping sauces paired exquisitely. With the dipping sauces it overpowered this fragrant and refined wine.

If you have never experienced tasting Albariño, this one is surely a great treat!







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