The underappreciated Albariño grape makes a stunning appearance in this delicious white wine from a little-known appellation in northwest Spain.
The area is Ribeira Sacra, which lies within the larger Galicia region. Albariño is the dominant white variety here and most often gives us light and refreshing wines that perfectly complement the region’s seafood and other simple meals.
But with Adegas Moure’s 2019 Abadía da Cova Blanco, there’s something more — a rounder, slightly fuller style. This may be due to the fact that Ribeira Sacra lies more inland and experiences a warmer Mediterranean climate than the neighboring coastal Rias Baixas Denominación de Origen (DO).
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The wine offers a beautiful combination of aromas and tastes — stone and tropical fruits including peach and pineapple, as well as a burst of orange on the mid-palate. There’s a flinty minerality and a touch of cream on the finish.
As I noted, the style is a bit weightier than that of many Albariños — alcohol is listed at 14.2 percent — but it is balanced by lively acidity. It all adds up to a well-structured and elegant wine that can stand up to richer dishes like shrimp or lobster risottos or fish with butter and cream sauces.
The Abadía da Cova Blanco is produced by the Adegas Moure winery, which, like many others, is expressing concern about climate change — noting on its website that the last few years have brought “higher temperatures, a drier climate, and a longer summer.” It’s something we should all be concerned about as the future of distinctive, original wines like this one may hang in the balance.