Salud to Albariño from rainy Rías Baixas, Spain!

Fashionable, crisp, aromatically floral Albariño – the same grape as Portugal’s Alvarinho – is a true testament to Spain’s contribution to the world of white wine. Ahead of International Albariño Day (August 1), I’ve chosen four superior, typically bone dry, unoaked ones that come from its heartland in the turbulent, rainy Atlantic DO of Rías Baixas (RB) on the southwestern coast of Galicia in northwest Spain, where over 95 per cent of production is from the Albariño grape. Unusually, the maritime DO of RB is divided into five non-contiguous areas, and more than half of the winemakers are women. My focus is on granitic Val do Salnés, the, coolest, dampest subzone with the greatest plantings and concentration of wineries. Salud to RB’s internationally appealing Albariño, muy Atlántico!


  1. 2021 Mar de Frades Albariño Atlántico, RB (£16, Tesco,

Love the eye-striking, signature blue bottle; inside is a perky, lip-smacking Val do Salnés Albariño that bursts with crystalline pink grapefruit, lemon zest, tropical fruit and a wave of sea salt spray. Solid cranks of flavour, but with good intensity and drive through the palate. Divine with a platter of seafood, mackerel, oysters, or sashimi. Textbook stuff from winemaker Paula Fandiño.


  1. 2022 Adega dos Eidos, Eidos de Padriñán Albariño, RB (£16.95, Lea & Sandeman,

This sea breezy, floral, saline, seafood-friendly wine is made from Albariño grapes grown on granitic slopes in Padriñán parish, overlooking Sanxenxo, one of RB’s most popular resorts. Driven by minerally/citrusy acidity, it’s irresistibly moreish and tastes of ripe stone fruits, grapefruit and lemon peel. Stylish and impeccable to pair with crab sandwiches and spaghetti alle vongole.


  1. 2021 Palacio de Fefiñanes Albariño, RB (£19.99, Waitrose,

Treat yourself to a top-notch 2021 from one of RB’s best wineries. Zippy and super saline-fresh,
it’s got hints of peach, green apple skin, crunchy minerals and pineapple with a briny edge. For good measure, it also boasts a long, stony finish. Bang on for simply cooked seafood (hello squid, octopus and dressed crab). Visit the winery, founded in 1904, and the palace
in the old smuggling town of Cambados (foodies should check out Michelin-starred restaurant Yayo Daporta). Cambados’ jolly ‘Festa do Albariño’ is next week.


  1. 2012 Pazo Señorans Selección de Añada Albariño, RB (£38, The Wine Society,

Albariño can age gracefully. It possesses a naturally high acidity and thick skin that makes it less prone to rot damage. Complex, structured and developed, this remarkable wine comes from a single four-hectare vineyard and pergola-trained vines that are more than 45 years old. It was aged three years on its lees and spent a further seven years in the bottle before release. Notes of sea spray, fennel, garrigue herbs, quince paste, iodine, citrus and stone fruit make for a mesmerising journey. Impeccably crafted, with a skein of salty acidity, it does the grape proud. Don’t miss the notable hórreo (raised granary) and impressive orujos (pomace brandies) at this breathtaking wedding venue either.


Follow James on Twitter @QuixoticWine

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter