|Featured Wines - Whites|
By Pete Bressert, Balzac Wine Bar
Rais Baixas - Spain
The Rías Baixas is the most well-known region of Galicia and produces some of Spain's most sought-after dry white wines based on the Albariño grape. While wines have been produced in this region for some time, exports of the wine to other areas of Europe didn't begin until the 16th century and was kept at a steady pace until the phylloxera epidemic devastated the region's vineyards. At the turn of the 20th century, many of the region's vineyards were replanted with low-quality hybrid vines and some plantings of the Sherry grape Palomino that didn't produce as well in the cooler climate of Rías Baixas. In the 1970s, growers began to replant native varieties like Albariño. Throughout the region, 12 grape varieties are permitted, including the red wine grapes of Mencia and Espadeiro, but Albariño accounts for 90% of the region's production.
Vibrant lemon-green in color, the Lícia Albariño exhibits a classic expression of the Albariño grape: intense and layered aromas of grapefruit, candied lemons, quince jelly, fresh herbs, green apples and a streak of minerality. On the palate it is full-bodied and well-balanced, with a long and persistent finish. This wine pairs deliciously with grilled fish—or any kind of seafood—Asian cuisines, rice dishes, salads and grilled vegetables.