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Bold, brilliant, and pointed, the 2003 Morgadío Albariño Rías Baixas is one grand statement of a wine. Dry, pure, and hauntingly scented, this remarkable white wine exhibits light clean fruit, overt minerality, and a crisp fresh finish. Although somewhat ethereal and difficult to label, one thing is certain; in no way does the 2003 Morgadío Albariño resemble the fruity oak infused confections that many New World producers label as Chardonnay nor is it one of those eviscerated, nameless, tasteless white wines that some Old World producers still refer to as classics rather than the moribund relics they truly are. Instead, Morgadío has crafted a statuesque white wine of breed and noble bearing that defies easy-patented description. We suggest serving this unique wine well chilled (35°-40° F).
With the sea so close and playing such an important part in the lives of the people of Galicia, the preference in Rías Baixas is to pair the region’s fine seafood with a bottle or two of Albariño, and who are we to argue? The 2003 Morgadío Albariño Rías Baixas is, indeed, the perfect foil to sautéed scallops, grilled snapper, crabmeat salad, and most everything else that once inhabited the sea. We also like the Morgadío Albariño with poultry and cheese; especially a well made Manchego, one of Spain’s most delectable cheeses. Fresh or fried Thai-style spring rolls also provide superb complements. And for a simple vegetarian pairing, we recommend putting the 2003 Morgadío Albariño with tips of asparagus, served over a bed of saffron and leek rice. Enjoy!
Morgadío is a unique farm and winery in Galicia’s Rías Baixas appellation. Meaning “only son” in Gallego, the Spanish dialect of Spain’s Galician coast, Morgadío specializes in Spain’s most expensive and important white grape variety: Albariño. Within the Rías Baixas are three separate districts, but none are as great as the Condado do Tea around Morgadío. Located on the banks of the Miñho River in a sunny amphitheater, reminiscent of Germany’s famous Rheingau, Morgadío enjoys a benign climate, southern exposure, and a superb terroir of reflective granite that allows it to fashion Spain’s fullest and most notable Albariño. Morgadío came to life with the recent resurrection of the legendary Albariño varietal in the early 1980’s. Owned by the Méndez family of nearby Orense, this old farm is planted entirely to Albariño and is considered to be the driving force in restoring Albariño to its exalted status as Spain’s foremost white wine. And not only does Morgadío possess one of the largest plantings of the varietal (50 acres), it has cultivated the technology and techniques that have transformed Albariño from a local legend to an international celebrity. Until the late 1980’s Galicia’s legendary Albariño grape remained just that – a legend. Often thought to be a distant cousin or even an immediate ancestor to Riesling, Albariño’s high quality and extreme rarity assured its position as Spain’s (and one of Europe’s) most expensive wine grapes. The high cost involved in making Albariño caused many to overproduce the varietal or stretch its production with less expensive grapes, resulting in inevitable disappointment on the part of adventurous tasters in search of the wine world’s holy grail. Authentic Albariño was produced inconsistently and only in miniscule lots, until the establishment of the Rías Baixas in 1988 and an ongoing movement led by Morgadío to recuperate and assure authenticity in its production.
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