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« Syrah, Quit Your Whining | Main | Rivertrivia + Vacqueyras »

24 February 2007

Better Than Eva

My experience with California-raised Spanish & Italian varietals has been an exercise in frustration.  For example, I find a Sangiovese from the Golden State, which made me say, "Yes, this is the perfect varietal for California."  Only later do I find out that the winery had yanked all the Sangio vines out because they weren't named Merlot, Cabernet or Zinfandel.

a few months ago I saw a bottle of, all things, Albariño from California's Santa Ynez Valley.  I picked it up but refrained from opening it.  I was convinced it would either be a sorry facsimile of this super-zesty, lime-packed grape; or I worried that I would fall in love with it, only to find out that these Galician immigrant vines had been yanked out in favor of Chardonnayaaawwwwnn.

Guess what?

This is one high-fidelity Albariño.  Seek it out.  Write the winery, plead with them not to yank it out.  Tell your friends.  Send smoke signals.  Host a Cali-Albariño party.

The Skinny
Longoria Albariño Clover Creek Vineyard 2005 ($20-ish) - For those of you who prefer your Longoria Eva-like, pass this one by.  In lieu of luscious, soft curves, this Longoria takes its style cues from the Spanish original.  Longoria's Albariño is a pale, yellow-gold wine with scents of fresh lime, just-ripe pear and alfalfa (O'tay!).  In the mouth, your palate will be mystified as this wine packs a zippy wallop accompanied by citrus-squirt flavor.  Give it a go with fresh seafood, or pair it with a butter/cream-packed recipe like Spicy Oven Fried Chicken.

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You can have Eva, I'll take "Al Longoria."

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Comments

Victoria

Glad to hear that someone else has discovered this great wine and winery. If you get a chance try their Cabernet Franc, Blues Cuvee. Something different and not to shabby. And their Pinot Noirs are fantastic, especially the Mt. Carmel and the Fe Ciega.
By the way. I did not see my blog in your exiensive list. I would love to have it added.
Cheers!
www.tastesoflife.blogspot.com

jeff

Couldn't I have my Longoria and drink it too?

There's at least one winery that intends to stay true to the Iberians for the long haul (guess :) If you ever find me ripping out Tempranillo to plany Merlot, just put me to death right there.

Sara, The Wine Makers Wife

Really enjoying your blog, I'm heading to Spain in 3 weeks for some much needed R&R, can you recommend some varitelas or wineries to look for when shopping?

beau

Jeff - I suppose that would be the ultimate Longorian experience.

And I will most definitely club you with a sheet of lasagna should you rip out the lovely TO Tempranillo.

Sara - Seek out Telmo Rogriguez; Muscat along the Catalunyan coast and don't forget the funky wines of Basque country!

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