Fantastic to be able to take a focused look at Albarino from some of New Zealand's producers dedicated to this variety.
Albarino's first home is Spain, it's second Portugal as Alvarhino and now its third - New Zealand. The largest concentration of Albarino producers are in Gisbonre with a growing number emerging from around the rest of the country.
Sileni Estates 'Advocate Albarino Estate Selection 2015 Hawke's Bay
Very generous bouquet with yellow and white peach with a quiet line of sweet citrus, some spice and mineral stony moments. On the palate - juicy, fresh, fleshy and varietal with peach front palate and some citrus and tension at the back, plenty of acidity; overall a calm and considered example, balanced and well made in a drink now expression.
Left Field Albarino 2015 Gisborne
Very fresh and lively bouquet with lemon scented peach and apple, a light herbaceous layer adds texture to the bouquet; as the wine begins to open up it shows more ripe lush peach suggestions and then a touch of mineral. On the palate - vibrant, fruity and very fresh with crisp, clean flavors of peach and lemon with red apple in the background; luscious acidity adds a silken texture along with some greener spectrum fruit suggestions; lovely vibrant example with a light chalky texture on the finish; well made.
Hihi Albarino 2015 Gisborne
Totally varietal bouquet with a slightly quieter voice - plenty of fruit expression with peach leading the charge then some citrus; the mineral signature is quite strong with clay and stone; some sweet florals begin to emerge. On the palate - very smooth and silky palate with medium+ (just) acidity and flavours of stone fruit and some citrus; the mineral moments return leading to a balanced, fresh and tasty example.
Neudorf Moutere Albarino 2015 Nelson
Fragrant, just a little floral, fruit laden and distinctive bouquet - ripe sweet peach, very secure layer of mineral, a freshness and yellow florals layer, varietal. On the palate - very taut and fresh with plenty of acidity tempering some very ripe peach flavors, a citrus almost tangerine like flavour adds to the depth and concentration mid-palate; the back palate has a noteworthy bite of citrus peel then peach, some very fine tannins add a light phenolic touch. Lovely example of an emerging style from a variety that requires some sttention and time to get to know.
Spade Oak Vineyard 'Heart of Gold' Albarino 2015 Gisborne
Generous and vibrant bouquet of stone fruit and citrus encased in a mineral shell; aromas of sweet Carolina peach, quince and citrus juices with a distinctive stony mineral message. On the palate - fresh, juicy, plenty of mineral and silken on the palate; the core is not quite as intense as I would like and the acidity is not quite as energised as the nose suggested it would be. The wine is however balanced and well made with a generous and lush feel overall.
Coopers Creek 'Bell-Ringer' Select Vineyards Albarino 2015 Gisborne
Very expressive bouquet with mineral, white and yellow peach and grapefruit-like citrus suggestions; plenty of mineral tones add lots of promise. On the palate - dry, juicy, fresh and very tasty; loads of energy mid-palate with quince, citrus and stone fruit flavours; some chalky stony mineral moments add depth and complexity. A balanced and very well made example.
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Albarino 2015 Gisborne
Juicy, lush and very fresh fruit bouquet with citrus and stone fruit aromas - peach and lemon tones with a some citrus oil; yellow floral moments and a steely mineral core. On the palate - very juicy with salivating acidity, quince, white peach and citrus peel zestyness; lots of acidity and crunch; balanced and well made with a fairly lengthy finish.
Rod McDonald Wines 'One Off' Albarino 2015 Gisborne
A smokyness, toasty and roasted fruits bouquet with typical aromas of peach and citrus with baked quince to follow; some lees or solids elements add texture within the aromas adding complexity and charm. On the palate - dry, fresh, crisp, juicy and fruity - loads of stone fruits and citrus flavors; loads of acidity and crispness; a lovely balanced and well made wine.
Matawhero Church House Albarino 2014 Gisborne
Mineral, leesy, lightly toasted fruit messages in the bouquet with lemon then peach then apple and a light whisper of herbs; a bouquet that also has complexity from the synergy of the elements described above. On the palate - fruity, creamy, dry and slightly toasty flavors; apple and peach with a light leesy quality, dry finish and distinctive flavor. Balanced.