A White and a Rosé to savour this season
Terras Gauda, Abadia de San Campio Albarino, Rías Baixas (DO) 2019, 12.5% abv
€20.95 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny
My first introduction to this particular wine came with the 2011 vintage which arrived on the doorstep just as I was heading off to Hendaye on the French/Spanish border. I brought a few bottles with me - talk about bringing coals to Newcastle. I was very impressed and rated it Very Highly Recommended. Lots of Albarino since then, including one in Nerua (in Bilbao) during that holiday!
And, glad to say, this 2019 is up there with the best of them, Very Highly Recommended again! Aromas are intense, tropical fruit (mostly mango and pineapple). And there’s amazing power and balance on the palate, “the intensity of taste of a harvest of well-ripened grapes”, as they say themselves, is balanced by a vibrant acidity. And the finish is persistent and pleasant all the way.
Le Caveau are obviously enthusiastic about it: Abadia de San Campio Albarino is such a lovely white..No sign of oak, the wine is therefore as pure and bright as a whistle.. Served with tuna steaks, it works brilliantly. Ideal with seafood, shellfish (Percebes!), fish... or almost anything coming out of the Atlantic.
Vintage 2019 all came right in the end as there was an “excellent ripening of the grapes, offering us a broad, concentrated and very lively Albarino”.
Back in 2012, as is the case now, ageing was not recommended. Quite a few experts, such as Hugh Johnson, were giving Albarino the DYA designation, meaning drink youngest available! You’ve been warned!
The producers recommend serving between 10 and 12 degrees with shellfish, oysters, clams, crabs and enjoy with spicy Asian cuisine.
Located in the O Rosal valley, in Galicia, Terras Gauda is notable for owning around 85% of its own vineyards; the remainder of the grapes are provided under strict quality control agreements with local growers.
Antica Enotria Contessa Staffa Rosato Puglia (IGP) 2019, 13%
€18.25 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny
The colour, more a red rose (close to pomegranate) than a pink rose, is what catches the eye with this Italian rosé from Puglia. It is a blend, Nero di Troia (85%) with Montepulciano. Aromas are rather intense - strawberry and cherry. It is light and lively on the palate, with a crisp and refreshing acidity, yet full of flavour with a good balance and a reasonably long finish. It is one of the drier rosés around, also that bit different to the French rosés, and Highly Recommended.
Contessa Staffa Rosato is the Mediterranean wine par excellence, with a strong restorative power on hot summer days. Yet it is liked for its versatility in the kitchen. It should be served cool, usually around 10 ° -12 ° C, so that it can express all its aromas and give soft and round sensations in the mouth.
With what to combine it? Almost with everything! It is an excellent aperitif, an obvious combination with cold cuts; with sushi it is a must; but try it with a soup or fried fish; with any first course, it is the king of summer cold dishes. Perfect for chicken and veal tuna salads; the roundness and softness make it the ideal companion for many spices.
Raffaele di Tuccio bought this run-down farmhouse (dating back to the 1700’s) in 1985 and over the past 30 years has worked tirelessly with his wife, Antonia, and son, Luigi, to bring the property back to life. Sadly Raffaele passed away in late 2020. the care of the farm and vineyards are now in the hands of Antonia and Luigi.