The Luzada Albarino 2017 is a $7.99 Trader Joe’s import exclusive (though it seems to available in other countries), it is estate grown and bottled in the Val do Saines DO (a DO in Spain is the same as an AVA in California, a specific boundary) located in Rias Baixas in the northwest corner of Spain, just above the border with Portugal. That is a very legit pedigree for a sub-$10 buck TJ’s wine. Rias Baixas is possibly the premier location for growing Albarino grapes and Val do Saines is thought to be where Albarino was first planted, way back in 1100s. Albarino does very well as a young wine, it does not need oak barrels or fancy production techniques. Good grapes and a skilled winemaker equals a very enjoyable wine. What I am getting at is many folks see a $7.99 wine and think “that can’t possibly be any good“, based on the low price. But a young wine that does take that long to ferment and age doesn’t need to be expensive. Yes, Trader Joe’s has some price advantages over a regular wine retailer, but this is an estate wine from an excellent growing area, this is not a wine that needs excuses. The alcohol content is 12.5%.
The color is a pale, crate clear, golden yellow. The nose is very bright, apples, peaches, and pears, along with lemon, melon and lime with a light floral sent. This is a medium-bodied wine with very solid acidity and an excellent mix of flavors. It tastes of Golden Delicious apple and melon, and ripe peach and lemon. The mid-palate offers a little grapefruit and pear, with a slap of spice. The flavors are not shy, nothing subtle here. The acidity allows this to be a food wine, if you are going to use it as a patio sipper, grab some crackers and an array of Spanish cheese and it will all balance out very nicely. The finish is bold and long.
The Luzada Albarino 2017 is a very tasty wine, when I said the flavors are bold, I don’t mean over the top, just very identifiable. I like Albarino, I should drink it more often, but I tend to get stuck in a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio rut. And also, sometimes with Spanish wines, you are not familiar with the producers and it can be difficult to make an informed decision. When in doubt, grab a sub-$10 wine from Trader Joe’s, ALDI, Costco, etc.., if you guess wrong you are only out a few bucks and you probably drank the wine anyway. But I think the Luzada Albarino 2017 at 8 bucks is more of a sure thing.