Cuisine Wine

Mount Riley Marlborough Albariño 2023

Mount Riley Marlborough Albariño 2023

I was nothing short of giddy when an albariño took the top spot among myriad other contenders. I have a passion for albariño and it’s exciting to see this category grow in New Zealand. My hope is that one day, hopefully in the not too distant future, we will have so many albariño entries it will be deserving of its own category. Watch this space!

As a new-world wine country, we are still learning what grows well here. While we’ve hit the jackpot with sauvignon blanc, which is phenomenally popular globally, trends are fickle and it’s always prudent not to keep all one’s grapes in one basket. So we must always look to what could be the next big thing and albariño could be it. While it shares as high an acid profile as sauvignon, it lacks the greenness that can make sauvignon blanc divisive. Instead, the experience is that of bright, fresh citrus and positively mouthwatering salinity that can only make us dream of hot summer days in Galicia in north- west Spain, from where the grape hails.

Luckily albariño grows well here and we are seeing some fantastic examples coming from all over New Zealand. Case in point, this stunning example from Marlborough is rich and inviting on the nose with layers of ripe citrus, green peaches and white blossoms. The palate is bright and precise with wonderful texture, stunning salinity and incredible length of flavour that is driven through the palate by the focussed and steely acid spine.

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