Route 3 Wines 2011 Albariño offers exotic flavors to white wine fans who want to explore beyond chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. Route 3 Wines come from estate-grown vineyards in the Dunnigan Hills of Yolo County, northwest of Sacramento.
The Wine Bible, an encyclopedia of information about wine by Karen MacNeil, describes albariño as "a racy, refreshing wine considered one of the best matches in the world for seafood." The grape is grown primarily in the region of Rías Baixas in northwest Spain. (It's also grown in Portugal and lately has been making an appearance in California.)
MacNeil goes on to say this about the grape:
"Albariño has a unique flavor profile. Not as zaftig as chardonnay, nor as minerally as riesling, nor as wild and herbal as sauvignon blanc, its flavors range from zingy citrus-peach to almond-honeysuckle. In texture, albariños are supple and lightly creamy. Yet because generally the wines are neither fermented nor aged in wood, the best of them are as light as gossamer on the palate."
Tasting Notes for Route 3 Wines 2011 Albariño
I found the wine to be quite aromatic with aromas of peach and citrus and a slightly grassy edge. It's quite dry to taste, with a slight bitterness as of raw almonds. While not as delicate and floral as I expected from MacNeil's description, the wine's combination of peach and mineral flavors is interesting and distinct. I wouldn't describe it as "gossamer," but citrus-peach and almond-honeysuckle are apt. 13.1% alcohol, without residual sweetness.