Tonight I opened up a bottle of the Abacela 2012 Albariño. Before I got this bottle, I hadn’t heard of Abacela before, but when I saw that they had an Oregon Albariño, I just had to try it.
I looked up Abacela, and discovered that it was founded by a couple from Florida, who had come to love the Tempranillo grape that made up Rioja and Ribera Del Duero wines in Spain. They learned that the United States grew very few Tempranillo grapes, and the ones there were typically ended up in cheap, California jug wines. They set out to find the perfect climate in the U.S. for Tempranillo grapes, and ended up in the Umpqua Valley of Oregon, near Roseville.
But back to the Albariño. While planting their vineyards with Tempranillo, they also set out to find other under-planted grape varietals that would do well in the region. Albariño was one of those. They have been making an Albariño since 2001, and the 2012 vintage does not disappoint. Upon opening, this wine was crisp and citrusy, with flavors of green apple and lemongrass. After the wine warmed up just a bit, a hint of creamy butter began showing through, softening and enhancing the apple flavors. At either temperature, the wine has a tart kick at the back of the palate on the finish.
I really enjoyed this wine – it is one that I would certainly seek out again. And after checking out the list of varietal wines on their webpage, I think we need to add Abacela to the list of wineries we need to visit. What a pleasant surprise!
And in case you hadn’t already fallen in love, here’s an endearing bit of trivia. According to the folks at Abacela, the winery is named as a derivation of the nearly obsolete Spanish, Galician and Portuguese verb abacelar, which means “to plant a grapevine.”