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Albariño renders what many consider to be Spain’s finest white wine, and Eidos enjoys a position at the very top of the game. Classic in all respects, the 2012 Eidos de Padriñán is emblematic of what Albariño has to offer. Bob Sprentall of B-21 called the 2012 Eidos “The finest Albariño I have ever tasted,” and awarded it 94 points. And we concur. Stephen Tanzer of International Wine Cellar gave it 91 points and waxed over its beauty, too. Selected from vines over 50 years of age from a stellar vintage, the 2012 Eidos de Padriñán presents itself in a brilliant fashion, with a flash of sunlight and a faint tint of green born of the nearby sea. Even more telling is how Eidos seduces with an amplifying bouquet of citrus blossoms, mineral, and orchard fruits. And in the mouth it offers up pure racy flavors that capture the fruit, mineral and stone aspects of Albariño, which further add to the wine’s allure. Focused, complex and perfectly balanced the 2012 Eidos Albariño leaves a deep, satisfying impression born of tremendous freshness, flavor and unparalleled harmony. Enjoy this thirst quenching Albariño well chilled or better still at 45-50° F where it will reveal all of its seductive charm to those who are patient enough to allow the stinging chill of modern refrigeration to subside. Enjoy!
In its native Galicia, tapas and seafood constitute the accompaniments of choice with Albariño. And undoubtedly, the 2012 Eidos de Padriñán shines brightest when the fruits of the sea are brought to table. It pairs beautifully with clams, mussels, and oysters, especially when served in a heady broth. Cod, grouper, sea bass, or almost any flaky white fish will aptly accompany this wine. We especially enjoy Eidos with fish steamed in parchment (or foil) with chopped onion, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, and herbs. Traditional tapas, marinated olives, portabella mushrooms stuffed with ratatouille and ricotta cheese, and even cured meats such as prosciutto or Spain’s famous jamon constitute perennial favorites to share alongside of Eidos de Padriñán. However, one need not travel to Rias Baixas to appreciate this wine. Asian stir fries, sushi, sashimi, and grilled tuna steaks offer equally pleasing accompaniments and are easy to prepare or take out. Another favorite complement to Eidos is Ahi tuna, grilled medium rare, drizzled with a tangy ginger or teriyaki sauce, and served over a bed of organic greens, shredded carrots, edamame, and broccoli. This simple offering always seems to accentuate the taste of the wine and exemplify the merits of fusing Asian-accented recipes with traditional European wines such as the 2012 Eidos. Salud!
Bodega Padriñán is one of the brightest stars in Spain’s Rias Baixas appellation of Galicia, Spain’s cool, green region that rises from the pounding surf of the North Atlantic to the towering Pyrenees Mountains. It was founded in only 2000 by Manuel Villalustre, a well respected local viticulturist with 20 acres of old vines of Albariño, yet already it reigns as the region’s leading purveyor of Albariño. In just a few short years Bodega Padriñán has established itself as one of the most compelling producers of white wines in all Spain. Since the completion of his modern winery in 2003, Manuel Villalustre has fashioned two persuasive Albariño wines: Eidos and Veigas.
“Eidos” are the backyard garden arbors that form the traditional Albariño vineyard, small plots of selected grapes from vines over 50 years of age. Manuel Villalustre’s 100 separate parcels of these vines are located at the most northern end of the Salnés Valley, among the steep hills of Padriñán from which the winery draws its name. These hand harvested vineyards are set among the gardens of the village of Sanxenxo, where they enjoy a commanding view of the sea. However, each of these parcels occupies a south facing slope that protects it from the north wind and the stiff ocean breezes that buffet this coast. Superb fruit results from this region's favorable terroir and microclimate, resulting in the most concentrated and intense wines of Rias Baixas. Little wonder then that vines have grown here since time immemorial.
Albariño is an indigenous Spanish grape variety whose home is Rias Baixas and the Galician hills and hinterlands of northwest Spain and neighboring Portugal. Albariño was once thought to be distantly related to Riesling, but some enologists now believe that Albariño may be more closely connected to the Petit Manseng variety of southwest France, which lies just to the north of Galicia and the towering Pyrenees Mountains. However, no dry white Petit Manseng can match the body and finesse of Spain’s finest Albariño wines.
In Portugal, Albariño goes by the name Alvarinho where it typically ends up as a light summertime quaff in the guise of Vinho Verde. Surely, nowhere could a single grape variety be more different than Albariño is in Spain and Portugal. While Portugal picks this varietal early and makes a low alcohol wine (8.5%-9% on average), Spain, under the tutelage of Manuel Villalustre and similar minded individuals in Rias Baixas, turns out a full-bodied, intense Albariño with aromatic and flavor profiles more akin to Viognier – the greatest white variety of France’s Rhône Valley.
On account of its intense flavors and adaptability to difficult climates, Albariño is now extensively planted and studied in other locales around the world, including Australia, California, and South Africa. Early reports from winemakers and consumers elsewhere appear promising for this late maturing grape, but nowhere more than in Australia where extended growing seasons are common and the grape’s firm, bright acidity is much appreciated. A debt of thanks belong to Manuel Villalustre and his Galician counterparts for helping resurrect over the past two decades the great Albariño varietal in Spain and then sharing it with the world.
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