Albarino is a name to know in the world of white wine. It can grow at higher temperatures than can say, Chardonnay. It also keeps its acidity at those higher temps, which fits what most consumers and those of us within the wine trade are looking for these days. Here’s some more on Brecon Estate and their Albarino.
Hey, guys. Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures, so I’m joined today, I’ll hold this up so you can see. So this is Brecon Estate, which is a small producer in Paso Robles and if you look at the front, it’s titled … What is this exactly? True acacia head, but if you look at the back, you find out pretty quickly that that’s an Albariño and Albariño, if you’re not familiar, is a Spanish wine grape. That’s just first being planted now in warmer places on the central coast. Paso, I think, is gonna be pretty quickly a leader for this. Lodi is also gonna be rated in there with them. So a couple things about Albariño. So first, it does like warm weather and so why are we now kind of messing with Albariño, a Spanish wine grape, as opposed to maybe say the Rhone whites that people have been accustomed to seeing grow in these kind of regions. So it’s really a question of the marketplace changing a little bit. So a generation ago, you would have just planted chardonnay and even if it was really warm, the grape might not have done all that well.
But you would throw it in New Oak and you’d get this kind buttery, oaky kind of oak bomb, is how people would describe it. You’d sell a whole lot of it and you just call it a day and over the past few years, probably over the past decade or so, we’ve started to kind of become more of an old world producer in California. You’re seeing this kind of walking back of alcohol level and of fruit levels and a more focus on finding vineyards that can provide some acidity. That’s really the great part about Albariño when it’s grown in Lodi or in Paso is that it keeps this acidity because the grape is really meant to grow in warm conditions. In fact, probably even warmer than California. So there’s no upper limit on temperature, at least from a normal growing region as we think of it. So Lodi, especially if you go up a few hundred feet in elevation, that’s kind of a great place to grow it. Paso, even if you’re growing east of the 101, which is kind of the warmest section of, you can still grow Albariño and grow it pretty darn well.
So it’s a grape that we’re gonna see more and more. It’s a grape that is going to challenge consumers because of the way it’s sold. If you throw this on a wine list somewhere, you’re not gonna get a whole lot of people other than the very, very serious wine drinkers that are gonna pick it. It takes some actual work from a restaurant. In a wine shop, it’s not going to be in a kind of well designated section. A lot of them have just a white section or they’re broken up by region and all the kind of stuff. There’s no spot where you can go and you’re gonna say, “Okay. There’s three shelves of Albariños.” There’s just not and there’s probably not gonna be for a while. So that’s a real question about how as a vintner and as somebody who sells wine, how do you do this because you want to introduce people to a wine that is better than most of the chardonnay that you drink.
In the case of this Brecon Estate bottle, really one of the true classic Albariños that you’re gonna find in the state of California, really one of the best bottlings that you’re gonna find in the realm of 20 to $30 price point. So in any case, Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures. I don’t know if this will go out to a wine club member shipment or not. I have Exploration Wine Club, which is 40 or so for wine, which leaves $20 a bottle, which makes the 25 or $30 white a little harder to fit in than others. But it’s something that we’re trying to figure out how to deal a little bit more of. We will see Albariño showing up in shipments sometime soon. So I hope everyone is having a good week so far. We’ll talk to you soon.