Albarino Reviews

Tasting notes for 14 wines


Albarino has been a hot grape over these past few years and is always welcome in my home. Taking a look at the current releases, I was looking for the classic peach and citrus fruit tones backed up with zesty acids and a touch of saline minerality. To learn more about Albarino take a look at All About Albarino.

2010 La Cana Albarino, 13.5%
An interesting ripe nose of nectarine, soil tones, walnut oil and a hint of salty seashell greet the nose.  Very smooth on entry with acidity that is well wrapped in kiwi and peach fruit. The acidity pops a bit on the back end which shows off nice complexity with a hint of nutshell and some gentle mineral tones with a very subtle vegetal edge. Finishes with good length and a green grapey freshness. This is fairly opulent but at the same time it’s awfully appealing. 90pts
5 Top Albarinos
2010 Morgadio, 12.5%
Coconut oil-tinged ripe peach on the nose with a squirt of pithy grapefruit and aniseed top notes.  This is soft and fairly rich on entry though the firm acids really pop on the mid-palate. Richly flavored with deep peachy fruit, this lacks just a touch of verve on the palate. 89pts

2007 Fillaboa Seleccion Finca Monte Alto, 12.5%
Smells vaguely of olive oil with its blend of green fruit and peppery herbal undertones. The acid offers nice cut on entry and the years of aging has certainly given this a broader mouthfeel with the fresh fruit flavors showing no worse for wear. There’s a lot of slightly baked apple here with a hint of quince and some modeler’s glue adding complexity to the core of peach and dried mango flavors. This is not your everyday Albarino, and as such, you need to know what you’re getting into here. It’s a more meditative wine that lacks some of the sheer excitement of the best young Albarino, but makes up for it with added richness and complexity. Just a bit short on the finish. 89pts
2009 Fillaboa, 12.5%
Very pretty on the nose with a subtle, gentle character that shows of soft floral, honey and anise tones. Lovely cut on entry with a nice tactile feel. This has a subtle angular texture and fresh flavors of citrus and green apple fruits with gentle mineral suggestions. The finish exhibits a light pithy bitterness that complements the core of fruit. The finish is floral and apple-scented with good length. 89pts

2010 Laxas, 12.5%

Fresh pithy lime on the nose with a hint of salty sand and some emerging sweet green apple background notes round out the nose. Somewhat rich and downright silky on the palate. This offers good, very well-integrated acidity that supports rather subtle, lightly mineral flecked green apple and green orange flavors. The finish really firms up nicely with good mineral cut and fine length. This is a touch round and soft for my palate, but still manages to deliver a really fine experience.  89pts

2009 Mar de Frades, 12.5%
Soft on the nose with sandy soil tones, sweet if light orchard fruits and a touch of lemon verbena. Nicely focused on entry. Not a big wine but with nicely balanced and rather assertive citrus, unripe peach and very gentle mineral tones. Really shows some verve on the palate with a nice fruity follow-through and good, succulent length. 88pts

2010 Finca de Arantei, 12.5%
Quite floral on the nose with a strong licorice undertone and faintly smoky, mineral flecked peach notes. A fair amount of dissolved CO2 gives this a nice prickle on entry. Light-bodied and fresh in the mouth, this packs in nicely pure flavors of peach and lime on a lacy structure. The finish is a touch short but does offer a nice blend of citrus, apricot and mineral flavors. This is really delicious and super summery! 88pts

2010 Condes de Albarei Salneval, 13.5%

Lovely nose with peach and citrus fruits accented with a pretty gardenia floral perfume and slightly salty soil nuances. Lean and transparent on entry with nice mouth filling fruit, solid integrated acids and a light gossamer feel. The fruit here is fresh, if a bit low intensity, but it allows the mineral and almost salty notes to pop on the backend which leads to a fine, fresh mineral-topped finish with a light burst of grapefruitiness on the finale. 88pts

2010 Condes de Albarei, 13.5%
A little subdued on the nose with a bit of waxiness to the peach, mineral and floral aromatics that show a touch of heat. Nicely focused up front with good richness of fruit, pear and peach supported by solid, integrated acidity. The texture is a touch viscous on the palate and the aromatic waxiness persists in the mouth, but here it’s offset a bit by some lovely fruit and floral notes. The finish is short with an initial burst of fruit that just drops off. 87pts

2009 Serra da Estrela, 12.5%

A bit waxy on the nose with some lightly advanced aromas of dried citrus peel and pressed flowers. Bright on entry with vivid acidity and nice if subtle flavors of dried peach and citrus with a faint dusty earth tone. The finish is a bit brief and subtle, with a gentle herbal edge. 85pts

2010 Alvinte, 12.5%
Bright and limey on the nose, with a touch of pollen and honeycomb adding some sweetness around the edges. This gains a nice perfume edge with air. A touch loose on entry with a nice mineral edge to the fresh but simple citrus flavors. There’s a hint of peach pit here, but this is rather simple and open-knit, if easy to enjoy. 85pts

2010 Pazo Serantellos, 13.5%

Floral with a soft vegetal edge that reminds me of sugar cane and gentle suggestions of dried apricot. Nice on entry with a broad, smooth texture and enough acid to keep this lively, though the flavors tend to the riper end of the spectrum with a sweet peachy edge. This is round and nicely textured with a decent finish but is ultimately quite simple. 85pts

2010 Licia, 12.5%
Limey and bright on the nose with a touch of herb. A little sweetish on entry with a fresh, simple core of grapefruit orchard fruit. This is light enough to let the acid lend some freshness, but the texture is just a bit sticky and the finish has a bit of heat.  84pts

2009 Paco & Lola, 13%
This smells quite ripe with a fairly neutral sweet nutmeat tone and candied pineapple fruit. A touch of trapped CO2 livens the palate, but this is rather flat and weighty with interesting if simple flavors that recall the candied tropical notes of the nose. The finish is short with a hint of mineral and a touch of heat. 83pts

Click here to review Greg's top 5 Alberino picks.

Mentioned in this article


  • Hi Greg;
    I wanted to thank you for reviewing this particular variety that appreciates the coverage. The range of complexity and quality among Albarino from Rias Baixas merits attention.
    I also wanted to ask you if you have plans to review California albarino. I would love to send you a bottle of our 2010 Bodegas M Albarino Querida. Edna Valley fruit, Rias Baixas bud wood, I think you will find it interesting. Let me know if I can send you a bottle.

    Jun 09, 2011 at 2:08 PM

  • In the San Francisco area many of these Albariño wines are not readily available in wine shops. Here is my list of my favorite Albariño wines that you can find in several wine shops in the San Francisco Bay Area. I posted these several weeks ago on my blog goodcheapvino. Here is the url to this post on Albariño wines.

    Jun 13, 2011 at 11:12 AM

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