WINE REVIEW: Oak Farm Vineyards, 2018 Albariño, Lodi, CA ($24)
by Andrew Chalk
Albariño is a distinctive grape from the Iberian peninsula that is growing fast in popularity in the US and European markets. Its leitmotifs are high acid, citrus, and salinity that are usually harnessed in an oak-free wine making environment. The best known region for the grape is Rias Baixas in Galicia, northern (‘green’) Spain. Over the Minho river, and the Spanish-Portuguese border, the spelling changes to ‘alvarinho’, reflecting the switch to the Portuguese language, but terroir is no respecter of political boundaries so the style of the wine is the same.
One of the most intriguing trends of the last decade is the transplanting of albarino to the New World. I have tasted likable wines from such disparate regions as San Luis Obispo, Texas, and Maryland. Here we have a serious example from the Lodi region of California. I tasted this both solo, and as a match with food. Undoubtedly, the most impressive case was paired with chicken parmesan with which the lively wine cut through the cheese and rich tomato sauce to enhance the flavors of the dish.
Appearance: Light straw;
Nose: Light citrus, wet stone;
Palate: Crisp acidity. Lemons.