The Global Masters Wine of the Week: Organic Albariño from Marlborough

Every week, we select a wine that picked up either a Gold or Master from our competition series, and tell you why the judges loved it. Enter the Global Masters, and this could be your wine.

Rías Baixas is known as the capital of Albariño. Campo Viejo even launched one of in the UK this month to tap into the rising demand for light and fresh wine styles

But a rising number of New Zealand winemakers are starting to work with the grape, hoping its potential for acidity, salinity, and softness can offer an alternative to Sauvignon Blanc.

Its disease resistance makes it very attractive to estates that want to increase their organic wine output, and some say it could be the next big thing in NZ.

This is just the third harvest of Albariño fruit from Babich’s certified organic Headwaters Vineyard, which spent some time in cold soak prior to pressing. It was fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks to ensure the variety’s flavours and aromas shone through, with seven months of lees ageing to bring texture and complexity to the end result.

Our judges enjoyed this Albariño’s “delicate nose” with lemon, apple and a herbal note, which one member of the panel said came shone through on the palate in the form of lemon and dill. Another enjoyed the wine’s “well defined palate and integrated characters” and “surprising complexity”. For all its citrus flavours (one judge tasted lemon sherbet and citrus zest), the wine also presented a touch of smoke and a lingering, savoury finish.

With the citrus and fresh herbs singing in this wine, we’ve already decided on tonight’s grocery shop: salmon fillets, dill, butter, and some crème fraîche. Need we say more?

The wine: Babich Vineyards Organic Albariño 2017

The source: Wairau Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

The grape(s): 100% Albariño

The style: An organic, still, light, lees-aged, fresh white wine

The price: £10-15

The medal: Gold – The Global Organic Masters, 2019

With high-quality judges and a unique sampling process, the Global Wine Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from the great vineyards of Europe or lesser-known corners of the New World.

It’s a competition dedicated to making winners out of winemakers.

Please visit the Global Masters website for more information, or please call +44 (0)20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

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